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Why Conservative Alaska Legalized Marijuana — and Who’s Next

On Tuesday, Alaska became the first red state to legalize the smoking, growing, and owning of small amounts of marijuana, bringing the decriminalization movement to a conservative stronghold.

The frontier state narrowly approved the measure last fall, by 53 percent, joining Colorado and Washington states in legalizing recreational use.

Under the law, adults 21 and older may possess up to an ounce of pot and grow as many as six plants. But smoking in public and buying and selling the drug remains illegal, which makes it difficult to (legally) acquire.

“You can still give people marijuana, but you can’t buy it — or even barter for it,” Alaska Public Media’s Alexandra Gutierrez reports. “So, it’s a pretty legally awkward spot. That probably won’t stop people from acquiring it, though.”

Alaska is the third state to legalize recreational marijuana after Colorado and Washington. Oregon and Washington, DC, are expected to follow later this year. But Alaska is unique in that it is the first solidly red state to legalize the drug.

Why did a conservative state take a decidedly liberal position on marijuana?  [Read more at the Christian Science Monitor]

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