Marijuana has finally become legal in Alaska, but not everyone is happy with the legalization of cannabis in the state.
In November 2014, 53 percent of Alaskans voted in favor of marijuana legalization and on Tuesday, Feb. 24, marijuana use by individuals 21 years old and above was approved after 40 years of contradictory laws and court rulings.
Thanks to the legalization of the psychoactive drug popularly referred to as pot or weed, Alaskans can now own and transport a maximum of one ounce of marijuana. They can also grow a maximum of six marijuana plants.
Alaska has become the third state to do so, following in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington. However, it seems that not everyone is pleased with pot being legalized in Alaska as community leaders fret that this will bring additional temptations to peoples. The communities are already dealing with an alarming rate of alcohol and drug abuse and also suicide and domestic violence.
"When they start depending on smoking marijuana, I don't know how far they'd go to get the funds they need to support it, to support themselves," said Edward Nick, who is a council member in Manokotak.
Manokotak is a far-flung village of just 400 people, composed primarily of the Yup'ik Eskimo. Calls for establishing a new board that will chart out marijuana regulations in the state are being made to lawmakers.
With the commercial availability of marijuana slated for May 2016, lawmakers have some time in hand to establish regulations. The sale of marijuana on the market will be taxed, and people cannot smoke pot in public places, such as state and national parks. Doing so would incur a fine of $100.
One can, however, enjoy smoking pot outside their private property -- unless you reside in Anchorage that is.