Alaska Medical Marijuana Laws

Alaska Ballot Measure 8 -- Approved Nov. 3, 1998 by 58% of voters
Effective: Mar. 4, 1999
Removed state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess written documentation from their physician advising that they "might benefit from the medical use of marijuana."

Approved Conditions: Cachexia, cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy and other disorders characterized by seizures, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other disorders characterized by muscle spasticity, and nausea. Other conditions are subject to approval by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

Possession/Cultivation: Patients (or their primary caregivers) may legally possess no more than one ounce of usable marijuana, and may cultivate no more than six marijuana plants, of which no more than three may be mature. The law establishes a confidential state-run patient registry that issues identification cards to qualifying patients.

Amended: Senate Bill 94
Effective: June 2, 1999

Mandates all patients seeking legal protection under this act to enroll in the state patient registry and possess a valid identification card. Patients not enrolled in the registry will no longer be able to argue the "affirmative defense of medical necessity" if they are arrested on marijuana charges.

Update: Alaska Statute Title 17 Chapter 37  (36 KB)

Creates a confidential statewide registry of medical marijuana patients and caregivers and establishes identification card.

1 oz or less in your residence or home no penalty N/A N/A

1 oz to 4 oz  misdemeanor 90 days $1,000

More than 4 oz, or 25 or more plants  felony 5 years $50,000

Any amount within 500 feet of school grounds or rec. center* felony 5 years $50,000

* 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.

Sale or Cultivation

Sale less than 1 oz misdemeanor 1 year $5,000

1 oz or more felony 5 years $50,000

Miscellaneous (paraphernalia, license suspensions, drug tax stamps, etc...)

Maintaining any structure or dwelling for keeping and distributing marijuana  felony 5 years $50,000



Possession of one ounce or less of marijuana in the privacy of the home is legal. The status of possessing an amount between one ounce and four ounces is unclear, pending clarification by the courts. Possession of 4 ounces or more of marijuana is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

Possession of less than 25 plants is protected under the Alaska Constitution's right to privacy (See Ravin v. Alaska). Possession of 25 or more marijuana plants is "Misconduct involving a controlled substance in the fourth degree" and is punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 or five years in prison.

Any possession within 500 feet of school grounds or a recreation center or possession on any school bus is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

Sale, delivery or manufacture of marijuana of less than one ounce is a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. For amounts of one ounce or greater, the crime is a felony which can be punished with a sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

It is an affirmative defense to possession, manufacture or delivery that the offender is a patient or caregiver who is registered with the state for medical use of marijuana.

Maintaining any structure or dwelling, including vehicles, to use for keeping and distributing marijuana, is a felony offense and punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

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