A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling does not prevent the state of Alaska from registering patients under its medical-marijuana program, the state attorney general says.
The Anchorage Daily News reported July 22 that AG David Marquez told the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services that the registry can continue despite a June ruling by the Supreme Court, which said that federal drug laws trump state medical-marijuana legislation.
Alaska had mulled suspending its medical-marijuana program in the wake of the high court's ruling. About 570 state residents are currently registered as medical-marijuana users.
"What Alaska and now all 10 of the medical marijuana states have said essentially is the Supreme Court decision does nothing on the state level," said Bruce Mirken, of the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project. "It's essentially business as usual. ... This was a real clear-cut decision, and the question is why a couple of states took so long."
Alaskan government officials went out of their way, however, to say that there should be no legal use of marijuana other than for medical purposes.