Surviving Alaska: Legal Recreational Marijuana & Your Vacation

Surviving Alaska: Legal Recreational Marijuana & Your Vacation

Despite one’s personal opinions about recreational marijuana, the topic needs to be addressed instead of ignored.

In November 2014, Alaskans voted in favor of Prop 2 legalizing “recreational marijuana”.  With marijuana tourism booming in Colorado, Alaska is sure to be next.  Before you plan a 2015 Alaska vacation around recreating with marijuana, there’s some things you need to know!

Alaska-Marijuana
The marijuana industry will capitalize on Alaska’s already thriving tourism industry.  Let’s face it, legalized marijuana is quickly becoming a billion dollar industry.

As of December 2014, here’s what you need to know:

  • It’s NOT LEGAL at this time!  The initiative will not become law until approximately the end of February 2015.
  • Once legal, you will NOT be able to smoke it in public.  When caught, you’re subject to a $100 fine.  You will be able to smoke it in a private residence or private property.
  • Once legal, one will be able to possess and transport up to one ounce of marijuana.
  • Once legal, where can one buy marijuana?  Here’s the kicker, until the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board works out the details for retail establishments one would still need to go through an illegal dealer to buy marijuana.  Ironically, per the law a person can give another person up to one ounce of marijuana legally.  Do people really give marijuana away…?
  • An estimated time frame for retail establishments in the Last Frontier is between February and May 2016.

Don’ts & Do’s (Once legal)

cheech and chong

  • Don’t walk down the street smoking marijuana.
  • Don’t smoke while sitting around the campfire in a public campground.
  • Don’t bring marijuana on an organized tour, especially fishing charters.  You’re putting the Captain’s US Coast Guard license, boat, and income for his/her family at risk!
  • Don’t bring it on the airplane if you’re coming from Colorado or Washington state.
  • Don’t drive, boat, or ATV under the influence of marijuana, it’s illegal just like alcohol.
  • If you’re coming up for a job, you can still fail a drug test for marijuana.  The law says nothing about legalizing it in the workplace.  I would suspect there’s going to be increased testing in the near future.
  • There’s a lot of public land in Alaska.  What if you’re on a secluded hiking trail and come across people smoking ?  I personally wouldn’t get too worked up and keep on walking, they’re not hurting anybody.  Option #2, do your civic duty and call the troopers.   My guess is the Troopers will thank you for the call, but they probably have bigger fish to fry.  Now if you’re on a hiking trail and a Trooper catches you smoking, you’re probably getting a ticket!  Bummer, man.
  • Since this is an RV blog, I called the Troopers in Anchorage to see if it’s legal for one to smoke marijuana in their parked RV while camping (in a way it’s a private residence).  They didn’t have an answer at this time and will probably have one once the initiative becomes law.  In other words, don’t be the first person to get busted for this if it’s not legal.  Let someone else take the hit (no pun intended), and test out the new law.
  • If you find someone willing to give you marijuana on your vacation, you can only smoke it in a private residence or private property.

In closing, if you’re planning your Alaska vacation around the new recreational marijuana laws it looks like you better wait until 2016, unless you know someone who is giving it away.

As this topic of interest develops we will be sure to keep you informed.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them below!

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