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“In order to have a system where individuals can go to a store, buy an ounce of marijuana, drive home, and enjoy it at home, it is necessary to make up to an ounce of marijuana entirely legal,” Tvert said.

Alaska is one of many states mulling changes to marijuana laws. Last fall, voters in Colorado and Washington state passed initiatives legalizing, taxing and regulating recreational marijuana.

This year, bills were filed in more than half the states to enact a medical marijuana law, decriminalize or reduce penalties for simple possession, or to tax and regulate marijuana for adult use, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. However, many of those proposals died, stalled or will be carried over.

Tvert said his group is working to promote initiatives allowing recreational marijuana in a handful of other states, including California, Oregon, Maine and Nevada. He thinks those states will be ready to pass such a measure in 2016.

“Ultimately we are starting to see the marijuana policy debate shift away from whether marijuana should be allowed or prohibited and toward how we will treat it,” Tvert said.

The U.S. Justice Department has not said how it will respond to the laws in Washington and Colorado. A bipartisan group of congressmen, including Alaska’s lone U.S. House member, Don Young, recently introduced legislation that would ensure the federal government respects stat e marijuana laws. For the Republican Young, it’s a states’ rights issue, his spokesman said by email.

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell, who consistently has fought the feds when he believes they’ve overstepped their bounds, supports a state’s right to establish its own laws and appreciates Young’s effort, Parnell spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said. But he also considers marijuana a “gateway drug that can lead to more serious patterns of substance abuse and criminal offenses,” she said by email. He has not stated his position on the proposed initiative.