Alaska Marijuana Laws

Medical (Comprehensive) and Recreational (Comprehensive)


Important Dates

1975: The Alaska Supreme Court allowed the possession and use marijuana in certain quantities and locations.
1982: Possession of up to four ounces of marijuana was decriminalized.
1990: The possession of marijuana was recriminalized after the successful vote on Alaska Measure 2.
1998: Ballot Measure #8 allowed patients to use marijuana for certain medical purposes.
2003: The decision in 1990 to recriminalize marijuana was struck down by the court of appeals. Possession of up to four ounces of marijuana was, once again, decriminalized.
2015: Alaska Measure 2, on the 2014 ballot, was successful and made Alaska the third state to legalize recreational marijuana.

History

The legal status of marijuana has been a controversial issue for Alaska since the 1970’s. There have been several court decisions legalizing and subsequently criminalizing marijuana in the state. Ravin v. State was the first official decision on the legal possession and use of marijuana in Alaska in 1975. In 1982, this decision was revisited to include a specific amount of marijuana that an individual could legally possess (four ounces). This decision was nullified in 1990, however, and the possession and use of marijuana was once again criminalized.

Marijuana was not legalized again until the 1998 ballot containing a measure involving the use of medical marijuana for “certain medical reasons.” Marijuana’s status was again changed from a criminal substance to a non-criminal substance in 2003. The culmination of these various decisions and reversals occurred in 2014 when the Alaska ballot contained a measure pertaining to the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. The measure was successfully passed and implemented in February 2015, making Alaska the third state to legalize recreational marijuana.

FAQs

Can I possess, buy or grow marijuana in Alaska?

Individuals can legally possess one ounce of usable marijuana while not on private property. The possession of up to four ounces of marijuana is legal within private property. As of November 2016, medical retailers can sell marijuana in quantities less than one ounce to medical marijuana cardholders or recreational users (currently, recreational dispensaries have not yet been legalized). Marijuana may also be grown within private property. There is a limit of 6 plants per household (with only three being mature).

Can I operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana in Alaska?

No. As of 2010, an individual is guilty of DUI if he or she operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, an intoxicating liquor, an inhalant or any controlled substance.

How do I get a medical marijuana card in Alaska?

Patients with qualifying conditions may apply for a medical marijuana card by visiting the Medical Marijuana Registry page on the State of Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services website.

Can I use marijuana in public in Alaska?

It is illegal to use marijuana, medicinal or otherwise, in public in Alaska. Additionally, it is a felony to use Marijuana within 500 feet of a school or a recreational center unless an individual is using it on private property that happens to be within that vicinity.

Can I sell marijuana in Alaska?

Only licensed and registered retailers in the state of Alaska can sell marijuana to adults ages 21 and older in quantities less than an ounce. If an individual is not a registered and licensed retailer they can give away up to six plants with only three of them being mature to any adult age 21 and older as long as there is no form of compensation or monetary exchange.

Disclaimer

The information presented here should not be construed as legal advice. State and Federal laws are always subject to change. We aim to keep this page as updated as possible; however, for additional information regarding Alaska marijuana laws, please see the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services website, Find Law and the National Conference of State Legislatures.