MEDICAL MARIJUANA: Alaska Legislates Restrictions on Use
Only six months after nearly 60% of Alaska voters approved an initiative legalizing medical marijuana use, the state Legislature passed a measure yesterday that would require patients to complete regular doctor visits to maintain permission to use marijuana, limit possession to one ounce and six plants in all cases, and register with the state before obtaining the drug, Reuters/Nando Times reports. State Sen. Loren Leman (R), the bill's sponsor, said "it was needed to prevent recreational marijuana users from exploiting the voter-approved initiative," and would preserve patients' rights while enabling police to distinguish between legal and illegal marijuana use. State Sen. Kim Elton (D), however, said, "It would be presumptuous for me to vote to change it, since the initiative got more votes than I did." Other opponents of the bill say it will violate users' medical privacy and "unfairly burden people suffering from serious illness." Gov. Tony Knowles (D) has expressed his support for the measure (Rosen, 5/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.