Alaska becomes 4th state to legalize marijuana

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Medical marijuana user Ezekiel Muses checks out a jar of medical marijuana, that he uses for back pain, at the CANNA CARE medical marijuana dispensory, in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Medical marijuana user Ezekiel Muses checks out a jar of medical marijuana, that he uses for back pain, at the CANNA CARE medical marijuana dispensory, in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

On Tuesday, Alaska voters approved Measure 2, legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, making Alaska the fourth state to lift the prohibition on marijuana.

Oregon and Washington, D.C., also voted on the issue this Tuesday, but the Alaska vote was the hardest to call leading up to election night. One poll, released last month, showed 52% of voters opposing Measure 2 by 52%, while another, released on the same day, showed that 57% of voters supported Measure 2.

Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said of the measure, “The folks trying to keep marijuana illegal are relying on the same scare tactics today that they have relied on for decades, but voters just aren’t falling for it anymore. The results are particularly encouraging since voter turnout during a midterm election is typically smaller, older, and more conservative. Clearly, support for ending marijuana prohibition spans the political and ideological spectrums.”

This new law means that adults in Alaska over age 21 may possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and up to 6 plants, with no more than 3 fully mature at a time.

The federal government maintains its ban on marijuana despite several states relaxing their laws. It is classified in the same category as LDS and cocain, as a Schedule 1 substance.