Alaska has officially entered the race to become the third state to legalize recreational marijuana. On Wednesday, a proposal to legalize pot officially qualified for a statewide vote on August 17.
The measure qualified for the upcoming ballot after a campaign for its inclusion gathered 36,000 signatures from registered voters. The state Lieutenant Governor certified the petition earlier this week.
If passed by voters, the legalization bill would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and to cultivate up to six pot plants. The bill also lays the groundwork for state-regulated commercial sales.
Recent reports on the impressive projected tax revenues generated by legal pot sales in Colorado have intrigued lawmakers across the country. Alaska also hopes to share in the boon that can come with legal pot sales. The measure includes a tax of $50 an ounce for wholesale pot transactions.
Colorado and Washington State voters legalized recreational marijuana in November of 2012. According to Marijuana Policy Project director of communications Mason Tvert, “There is more public dialogue about marijuana taking place than ever before. It won’t be long before we see similar steps being taken in other states.”
Fifty-eight percent of Alaskan voters approved legalizing medical cannabis in November 1998.