Lawmakers Discuss Federal Issues With Pot Legalization

A state Department of Law official told concerned lawmakers that regulating marijuana shouldn’t result in federal prosecution.

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Sen. Anna MacKinnon said during a Thursday Senate Finance Committee hearing that she had heard from members of the public who thought that legislators were violating federal law if they implemented the ballot initiative legalizing marijuana.

Department of Law representative Rick Svobodny told lawmakers that isn’t the case. The oath requires them to uphold federal and state constitutions but doesn’t mention specific federal laws.

Although Alaska voters approved possession, personal use and transportation of limited quantities of marijuana for adults 21 and older, it remains illegal federally.

The committee is discussing the decriminalization bill.