Is It Too Late to Switch From New Hampshire to Alaska?

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In case you missed it (I did until I read last week's NORML newsletter): The Alaska Supreme Court has declined to hear the state attorney general's challenge to an appeals court ruling that said it's still legal for Alaskans to possess up to four ounces of marijuana in their homes, notwithstanding a 1990 ballot initiative to the contrary. The Court of Appeals said voters could not overturn the Alaska Supreme Court's interpretation of the state constitution's privacy clause. The Supreme Court, perhaps not surprisingly, seems to agree. UPI reports that "Attorney General Gregg Renkes told the Anchorage Daily News he agreed the personal-use allowance is now the law, saying 'I respect and will abide by' the decision."

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  1. Although I do understand the Framers’ intent by having an open-ended Ninth amendement, sometimes you have to wonder if an explicit Privacy clause like the one in the Alaska constitution would be better than leaving it to the courts to invent.

  2. the linked article states, “”Alaska is the 12th state to decriminalize the personal use of the drug.”.

    Anyone know what the other 11 are?

  3. Too bad it’s so freakin’ cold up there…*sigh*.

  4. I believe Ohio is one state that has decrimilized it…or was it Idaho…something like that

  5. The 11 other “decrim” states are California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Oregon. NORML explains that marijuana users in those states “no longer face jail time (nor in most cases, arrest or criminal records) for the possession or use of small amounts of marijuana.” All but Nevada adopted their relatively lenient policies in the ’70s.

  6. Is it time to rant, “You can pack 4 ounces of a schedule 1 narcotic for personal use, but try to get married as a gay couple and…” 🙂

  7. I believe Ohio is one state that has decrimilized it…or was it Idaho…something like that

    Clearly, you have never been to Idaho.

  8. Renkes may have agreed to abide by the decision, but that doesn’t mean he’s happy about it.

    “We’re not giving up,” [Attorney General Gregg] Renkes said.

    He’ll be taking his case to the legislature where he’ll try to prove marijuana is a harmful enough drug to warrant amending the constitution.

    “The state has been denied an opportunity to present a record of the harmfulness of marijuana,” Renkes said.

    Amending the constitution to account for the harmfulness of marijuana?

  9. I laughed at that one, too, Pete.

    It’s amazing how these people can just straight-up lie like that. Or do they really believe it?

  10. New York has decriminalized? Isn’t it the home of the Rockefeller laws?

  11. Lowdog,

    Many of these folks actually believe it. These are some of the same people that believe the world was created 4,500 years ago. It’s one thing to believe in a god or gods, it’s quite another to believe something verified as false.

  12. Jacob Sullum: Nice reference to the FSP.

    New Hampshire’s pot laws are surprisingly draconian. You can get tossed in the can for up to a year for *ANY AMOUNT* of pot, even though it’s a “misdemeanor.” That sucks. One could imagine a paricularly harsh judge making an example out of a kid by, you know, ruining his life.

    This may be reason enough to wish that FSP had chosen a different state.

  13. “The state has been denied an opportunity to present a record of the harmfulness of marijuana,” Renkes said….

    I think that’s bureaucratic shorthand for: “Get me Gabriel Nahas on speed dial STAT!”

  14. “The state has been denied an opportunity to present a record of the harmfulness of marijuana,” Renkes said….

    I think that’s bureaucratic shorthand for: “Get me Gabriel Nahas on speed dial STAT!”

  15. I heard a radio broadcast in the last couple of days that was reporting on a trial balloon here in Chicago. Some police official was asking that people caught with small amounts be given a ticket instead of an arrest because courts were so likely to decline prosecution. Given what a cash cow parking fines are for the city I shouldn’t be too surprised. Still screwed up, but seems to be evidence of even more folks that don’t take possesion seriously.

  16. Nice of Renkes to set it up on a tee for easy home fun shot to deep center.

    Potential opponents of his point of view need only ask him if we need to make criminal offenses for possession of any substance that could be ‘proved harmful’ and then laugh him out of the press conference by pulling out a pack of tobacco cigarettes and say, “I’ll be stepping outside for a smoke now…hope I don’t get arrested!”

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