Alaska Marijuana Laws

Alaska cannabis laws allow use of the drug for both medical and recreational purposes. The state voted to legalize the drug in November 2014, and possession of small amounts of cannabis became legal in February 2015.

 Alaska Marijuana Attorneys

The following Alaska lawyers are actively involved in the practice of cannabis law:

Alaska-TBurke-Wonnell
Alaska-Law-Office-of-Philip-Shanahan

LAW BREAKDOWN

Simple Possession

Alaska marijuana law allows residents and visitors to buy marijuana, use it, and give it to others in small amounts. Possession of up to an ounce is legal for adults over 21.

Possession of between 1 and 4 ounces is allowed at home under court rulings but not under Ballot Measure 2, the law that legalized marijuana. Possession of between 1 and 4 ounces in public is a misdemeanor with maximum a penalty of 1 year in jail and $10,000 in fines.

Possession of more than 4 ounces is a felony with a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and $50,000 in criminal fines. Possession of any amount within 500 feet of a school or recreation center carries a penalty of up to 5 years in prison and up to $50,000 in fines. But defendants accused of possession in a school zone may raise an affirmative defence at trial if the marijuana was kept entirely within a private home.

Public consumption remains a civil offense and carries a $100 fine.

Possession with Intent to Distribute

Possession of less than 1 ounce with intent to distribute is a misdemeanor unless it occurs within the state’s legal marijuana retail system. Possession of 1 ounce or more with intent to distribute is a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and fines of up to $50,000.

Sale or Distribution

Sale or distribution of less than 1 ounce is a misdemeanor unless it occurs within the state’s legal marijuana retail system. The maximum penalty is 1 year in jail and $10,000 in fines. Sale or distribution of 1 ounce or more is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and $50,000 in fines. Sale or distribution to a person under age 19 is a felony with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $100,000 in fines, unless the seller is no more than 3 years older than the minor.

Cultivation

Alaska marijuana laws allow residents to legally grow up to 6 plants at home, with no more than 3 of them mature at any given time. Growing between 6 and 25 plants is in a legal gray area; although not explicitly permitted, an Alaskan Supreme Court ruling dictates that possession at home for personal consumption is protected conduct by the right-to-privacy provision in the state’s constitution.

Cultivation of 25 or more plants is a felony with a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and $1,000 in fines. No specific penalty has yet been established for cultivation of between 7 and 24 plants. Growing marijuana for a person under age 19 is a felony punishable by as many as 10 years in prison and fines of up to $100,000, unless the grower is less than 3 years older than the minor.

Hash and Concentrates

Marijuana law in Alaska does not provide any specific rules to govern legal hashish and concentrates. Under current state law, possession of 3 grams or less of hash, hash oil, or other concentrated forms of marijuana is a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 1 year in jail and $10,000 in fines.

Possession of more than 3 grams of concentrate or hash is a felony with a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison and $50,000 in fines. Distribution, manufacture, or possession with intent to distribute any amount of concentrate or hash is a felony punishable by between 1 and 3 years in prison, plus a maximum fine of $100,000.

Paraphernalia

Marijuana paraphernalia is now legal in Alaska. As yet there is no statute limiting possession of paraphernalia to adults or prohibiting any specific types of paraphernalia.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Medical marijuana was approved by ballot initiative in Alaska Nov. 3, 1998 by 58% of voters. State-level criminal penalties have been removed for patients who use, possess and cultivate marijuana with a written recommendation from their physician advising they “might benefit from the medical use of marijuana.”

Qualifying conditions – Cachexia, Cancer, Chronic Pain, Glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, Nausea and Seizures

Patient possession limits – One ounce of usable marijuana

Home cultivation – Yes, six plants allowed, with no more than three mature at any one time

State-licensed dispensaries – No

Caregivers – Yes. In order to qualify as a caregiver for a patient, a person must be at least 21 years of age and have never been convicted of a felony. Caregivers must be listed by the patient as either the primary caregiver or an alternate caregiver, and a patient may only list one primary caregiver and one alternate caregiver in the registry. Caregivers may only care for one patient at a time, unless multiple patients are related to the caregiver by at least the fourth degree of kinship by blood or marriage.

Reciprocity – No

Contact information – Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health: Marijuana Registry http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/VitalStats/Pages/marijuana.aspx

PENALTIES

Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine

Possession

Personal Use

1 oz or less None None $ 0
1 – 4 oz in your residence* Not classified N/A $ 0
1 – less than 4 oz Misdemeanor 1 year $ 10,000
4 oz or more Felony 5 years $ 50,000
Any amount within 500 feet of school grounds or rec. center** Felony 5 years $ 50,000
Public consumption Violation None $ 100

With Intent to Distribute

Less than 1 oz*** Misdemeanor 1 year $ 10,000
1 oz or more Felony 5 years $ 50,000
* Based on an Alaskan Supreme Court decision, possession in the home for personal use is protected conduct by the right-to-privacy provision in their state constitution.
** If charged with possession of marijuana in a school zone, an affirmative defense may be raised in court that the conduct took place entirely within a private residence.
*** The law will change in November 2016 when retail stores are established to sell up to one ounce. Currently, a person may convey up to one ounce to anyone 21 years old or older without compensation.

Sale or Delivery

Less than 1 oz Misdemeanor 1 year $ 10,000
1 oz or more Felony 5 years $ 50,000
To a person under 19 who is 3 years or more younger than the seller. Felony 10 years $ 100,000

Cultivation

Up to 6 plants (no more than 3 mature) None None $ 0
6 – 25 plants in your residence* Not classified N/A $ 0
25 plants or more Felony 5 years $ 1,000
To a person under 19 who is 3 years or more younger than the seller. Felony 10 years $ 100,000
* Based on an Alaskan Supreme Court decision, possession in the home for personal use is protected conduct by the right-to-privacy provision in their state constitution.

Hash & Concentrates

Possession of 3g or less Misdemeanor 0 – 1 year $ 10,000
Possession of more than 3g Felony 0 – 2 years $ 50,000
Delivery, manufacture, or possessing with intent to distribute any amount Felony 1 – 3 years $ 100,000

Civil Asset Forfeiture

Vehicles and other assets can be seized in a civil proceeding, regardless of whether criminal charges are brought.

Miscellaneous

If under 1 ounce of marijuana is gifted No Liability None $ 0
Offense within owned structure Felony 5 years $ 500,000
Administrative revocation of license to drive for consumption or possession