April 17, 2013 in Nation/World

Alaskans likely to vote on legalizing pot

Rob Hotakainen McClatchy-Tribune
Poll finds support within state

A survey by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning firm in Raleigh, N.C., that found that 54 percent of Alaskans would support legalizing marijuana. It found the strongest support among voters ages 18 to 34, at 62 percent.

WASHINGTON – Alaska voters likely will get a chance next year to make their state the third in the country – following Colorado and Washington – to approve the recreational use of marijuana by adults 21 and older.

Pot backers on Tuesday took the first step toward getting the measure on the August 2014 primary ballot, presenting draft language and 100 signatures to the Alaska lieutenant governor’s office. The measure would tax and regulate marijuana sales and allow Alaskans to cultivate marijuana for personal use.

If state officials decide everything’s in order after a 60-day review, backers will have until mid-January to get signatures from another 30,169 people to force a vote, said Steve Fox, the national political director of the Marijuana Policy Project, a pro-legalization group in Washington.

Alaskans rejected a legalization initiative in 2004, with only 44 percent of the state’s voters backing the idea. But Alaska’s marijuana laws are among the most liberal in the nation.

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