This week, we began airing a TV ad in Texas featuring Russell Jones, a retired narcotics detective and Texas Hill Country resident. Jones says that people under the influence of marijuana are much less problematic than people under the influence of alcohol, and that “law enforcement officials have more important things to do with their time.” Its primary purpose: to urge lawmakers to support HB 507, which would reduce criminal penalties for marijuana possession in the Lone Star State.
Marijuana officially became legal for adults in Alaskaas the legalization initiative approved by voters in November took effect on February 24. As we (and state lawmakers) expected, the sky did not fall in The Last Frontier, which is now the third state in the nation to allow adult marijuana use.
Under Ballot Measure 2, it is legal for 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes, and possess the yield of those plants in the location where it was grown. It also creates a system of regulated marijuana cultivation and sales — which the state legislature is currently in the process of developing — that will allow for licensed businesses to sell marijuana to adults.
The Marijuana Policy Project was the largest backer of the campaign in support of Ballot Measure 2, and we are now working with state and local activists, organizations, and officials to implement the best possible regulatory system. MPP also used “legalization day” as an opportunity to introduce its Consume Responsibly campaign to Alaska. The initial effort entailed ads on the side of city buses in Anchorage reminding adult marijuana consumers that, “With great marijuana laws comes great responsibility.”
When Jane West and her friends get together, the laughter rolls, trays of food and stories are passed around. But instead of splitting bottles of wine, these women like to unwind with artisanal marijuana.
In fact, these mothers with young children are regular marijuana users who are “unapologetic about getting high.” Moreover, some, including West, have made it their mission to make the use of marijuana as socially acceptable as having a glass of wine or a cocktail.
“If other people were willing to talk about it, instead of saying, ‘Oh, my God, I was so drunk last night,’ then more people would be talking about it just as openly,” West said.