Medical marijuana available at the Peace in Medicine dispensary in Sebastopol, Calif., Dec. 19, 2013.
Max Whittaker/The New York Times/Redux

Alaska to vote on legalizing pot


Alaska could become the third state to legalize marijuana use and growth by individuals, if voters approve an August ballot measure.

The state’s Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, a Republican, announced that the measure would be on the August 19th ballot. If passed, it would legalize the sale and use of pot for adults 21 and older, as well as allowing individuals to grow up to six marijuana plants.

Sales would be taxed—a flat $50 an ounce, unlike the percentage tax used in Colorado—and would be regulated by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, or a specific Marijuana Control Board. The state estimates that it could cost between $3.7 and $7 million to implement the regulation in the first year.

Morning Joe , 2/26/14, 9:09 AM ET

The economic impact of legalizing pot

CNBC’s Harry Smith joins Morning Joe to discuss Colorado’s new revenue projections which suggest that marijuana sales will grow to about $1 billion.

Those costs would be offset in part by tax revenues. In Colorodo, which legalized pot at the start of the year, marijuana has already generated hundreds of thousands of dollars off the sale of the substance.

While Alaska approved medical marijuana use in 1998, the state rejected a similar recreational ballot initiative in 2000. Since then, however, popular opinion on marijuana has shifted dramatically in favor of legalization.

Another ballot initiative would decide whether to raise the state minimum wage to $8.75 an hour.


Alaska and Marijuana

Alaska to vote on legalizing pot