- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 9, 2014

Alaska pro-pot activists are pushing hard for lawmakers to make the state the third in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana use.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana sent in a petition to election officials on Wednesday to bring forth a ballot measure in August that contained more than 45,000 signatures. Another 30,000, and the question will go to voters to decide, CNN reported.

“The proposed initiative will take marijuana sales out of the underground market and put them in legitimate, taxpaying businesses,” said Tim Hinterberger, one of the sponsors of the ballot drive, in CNN. “Replacing marijuana prohibition with a system of taxation and sensible regulation will bolster Alaska’s economy by creating jobs and generating revenue for the state.”

The group is proposing a law similar to the one that passed in Colorado allowing those age 21 and older to grow, buy and smoke marijuana. Alaska now has a medical allowance for marijuana use that lets those with a prescription grow up to six plants for personal use, or hold up to one ounce of the processed weed, CNN reported.

If the measure gets to ballot and passes, Alaska will join Colorado and Washington in the growing list of states that allows recreational marijuana use. Other states are mulling the matter, too. Among those with initiatives that are expected to face vote in the coming months, CNN reported: Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana and Nevada.