Marijuana bill encroaches on privacy

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, January 30, 2006

Alaskans cherish their right to privacy. Most agree that little governmental intrusion is one of the benefits of living in Alaska.

In an underhanded move, Gov. Murkowski is once again intruding into that constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy. While the main focus of House Bill 149 is meth, Murkowski added a provision that attempts to recriminalize marijuana. The new provision, if enacted, would violate Section I, Article 22 of the Alaska Constitution and go against Alaska court rulings which have made it clear that consuming marijuana in the home is a protected right within the constitution.

Murkowski says he wants to protect the residents of Alaska. If Murkowski truly wanted to protect the citizens he governs, he would be advocating for the prohibition of alcohol and tobacco use in the home. While there are no deaths from consuming too much pot, alcohol and tobacco are the direct cause of thousands of deaths each year. Should the people who use alcohol and tobacco in their homes face criminal prosecution? How long before the government attacks those rights? House Bill 149 makes adult possession of four ounces of marijuana in the home a felony with the same punishment as possession of child pornography.

Instead of attacking Alaskans' right to privacy, Murkowski should be creating bills that will address serious crimes and issues, not legislation that criminalizes otherwise law abiding citizens who like to consume marijuana.

Alaskans, demand more of your state government. Contact your representatives and Gov. Murkowski, and let them know that you oppose the new provision to House Bill 149, and that your constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy is to be protected by them, not attacked by them.

Carol Archuleta

North Pole

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