Alaska Legal Information
Safe access to medical cannabis was first approved in Alaska by Measure 8 (1998), an initiative supported by 58 percent of voters. The voter initiative, approved by 58 percent of voters, created Alaska's medical marijuana law, which affords a legal defense to qualifying patients who can demonstrate adequate need to possess medical marijuana.
Senate Bill 94 was passed in June 1999 and modified the law created by Measure 8 to require medical marijuana patients to register with the state health department and limit the amount of marijuana they and their caregivers may legally possess. Any patient with a valid registry card may legally use cannabis for medicinal purposes and their caregiver may assist them in doing so. It removed legal protections for medical marijuana patients who refuse to register with the state health department, or who possess greater amounts of marijuana than authorized by state law.
Measure 2, passed in 2014, allows people age 21 and over to possess up to one (1) ounce of marijuana and up to six (6) marijuana plants. It also made the manufacture, sale and possession of marijuana paraphernalia legal for adults age 21 and over.
In 2015, Alaska House Bill 123 established the Marijuana Control Board. The current, enforced version of the laws are as follows:
- Alaska Statute Title 17, Chapter 37: “Medical Use of Marijuana”
- Alaska Statute Title 17, Chapter 38: “Regulation of Marijuana”
The regulations contained on medical marijuana in the Alaska Administrative Code (“ACC”) are found in Chapter 37. “Medical Use of Marijuana.” These rules provide a procedure for obtaining a medical marijuana registry identification card.
While it is now legal for adults to possess marijuana, this does not limit the privileges or rights of a medical marijuana patient or medical marijuana caregiver under the state’s medical marijuana law.
In This Section
Codified under Alaska Statute Title 17, Chapter 37: "Medical Uses of Marijuana", the law is officially known as the Medical Uses of Marijuana for Persons Suffering from Debilitating Medical Conditions Act.
Medical professionals recommending medical cannabis must be physicians that are either (i) licensed to practice medicine in the state of Alaska or (ii) an officer in the regular medical service of the armed forces of the United States or the United States Public Health Service while in the discharge of their official duties, or volunteering services without pay or other remuneration to a hospital, clinic, medical office, or other medical facility in Alaska.
Any patient with a valid registry card may legally use marijuana for medicinal purposes and their caregiver may assist them in doing so. You can possess paraphernalia associated with growing or consuming marijuana for medical use. All patients MUST enroll in the state patient registry and possess a valid identification card in order to be legally protected. A copy of a registry identification card is not valid. A damaged card is not valid.
Unfortunately, patients, caregivers, and providers are still vulnerable to federal and state arrests, prosecutions, and incarceration. They also suffer pervasive discrimination in employment, child custody, housing, public accommodation, education and medical care.