Hypocritical to outlaw pot and not booze

Posted: Monday, April 26, 2004

A little over 10 years ago marijuana was criminalized after being legal for 15 years. In 1975 it was legal to possess a small amount of marijuana. Fifteen years later, in 1990, an act was passed to criminalize possession in Alaska. However, in 1998, medical marijuana use was approved. Alaska is one of the 10 states with medical marijuana rights.

If people can get sloppy drunk, what is the problem with the adult population being able to get stoned? Former Gov. Jay Hammond stated, "It's hypocritical to punish users of marijuana while legally sanctioning the use of alcohol."

An Anchorage Superior Court Judge gave pro-marijuana forces a second chance to try to put their legalization initiative on this year's ballot. The failed attempt to legalize marijuana in the 2000 election was a close call. In all of Alaska 59 percent voted against, while a strong 41 percent voted for it. In Juneau alone the vote was much closer with 53 percent against, and 47 percent pro-marijuana votes.

In August a state Court of Appeals decision made it legal for Alaskans to possess four ounces of marijuana in their own home for personal use. The legalization initiative on this November's ballot would make it legal for private use in the homes of adults 21 and older, the same age that it is legal to drink alcohol.

The easiest way to solve this ongoing argument is to get out there and vote, remembering not every 21-year-old likes to drink, so they should legally be allowed to smoke marijuana if they choose.

Shauna DeTemple

Juneau



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