Alaska Update


The Drug Reform Coordination Network has more on how law enforcement agencies are responding to the appeals court ruling that restored (from the court's perspective, clarified) Alaska's status as the state with the nation's most tolerant marijuana laws.

Alaska Chief Assistant Attorney General Dean Guaneli tells DRCNet: "When police come into a home, whether on a domestic violence call or something else, and see marijuana, we are not in a position to tell them to turn their back on it….We are telling the police it is not legal to possess. We will continue to do as we have done. We will file charges and leave it up to the courts."

Guaneli seems oblivious to the fact that the state's second highest court already has said police should not be filing those charges to begin with. "Alaska citizens have the right to possess less than four ounces of marijuana in their home for personal use," a unanimous Alaska Court of Appeals declared last week, citing the Alaska Supreme Court's interpretation of the state constitution's privacy clause.

Greg Wilkinson, a spokesman for the Alaska Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Enforcement, sounds less defiant than Guaneli. "We are approaching this from two angles," he says. "One feeling is that it will be business as usual. That other [is] that it will not." Thanks for clearing that up.