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30th Legislature(2017-2018)

Bill Text 30th Legislature

00 Enrolled HJR 21                                                                                                         
01 Urging the federal government to respect the authority of the state to regulate marijuana use,                          
02 production, and distribution; and urging the federal government to reconsider its listing of                            
03 marijuana as a schedule I controlled substance.                                                                         
04                                           _______________                                                               
05 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                             
06      WHEREAS art. I, sec. 22, Constitution of the State of Alaska, establishes a right to                               
07 privacy, stating "The right of the people to privacy is recognized and shall not be infringed";                         
08 and                                                                                                                     
09      WHEREAS the Alaska Supreme Court held in Ravin v. State, 537 P.2d 494, 511                                         
10 (Alaska 1975), that there is "no adequate justification for the state's intrusion into the citizen's                    
11 right to privacy by its prohibition of possession of marijuana by an adult for personal                                 
12 consumption in the home . . . ."; and                                                                                   
13      WHEREAS the citizens of the state voted to legalize marijuana by way of Ballot                                     
14 Measure No. 2, an "Act to tax and regulate the production, sale, and use of marijuana," on                              
15 November 4, 2014; and                                                                                                   
16      WHEREAS the state has prioritized the federal marijuana enforcement objectives                                     
01 stated in the August 29, 2013, memorandum from the United States Department of Justice to                               
02 all United States Attorneys, including preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors,                              
03 preventing revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs, and                            
04 cartels, preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in                         
05 some form to other states, preventing state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a                          
06 cover or a pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity, preventing                     
07 violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana, preventing                           
08 drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated                             
09 with marijuana use, preventing the growing of marijuana on public land and the attendant                                
10 public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public land, and                               
11 preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property; and                                                         
12      WHEREAS the state has implemented regulations under 3 AAC 306 that respect and                                     
13 support the federal priorities listed in the Department of Justice's August 29, 2013,                                   
14 memorandum; and                                                                                                         
15      WHEREAS the American Medical Association supports public health based                                              
16 strategies, rather than incarceration, for individuals possessing cannabis for personal use and                         
17 urges the federal government to review its listing of marijuana as a schedule I controlled                              
18 substance with the goal of facilitating clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based                          
19 medicines and alternative delivery methods; and                                                                         
20      WHEREAS, on August 1, 2017, Alaska Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth sent a                                         
21 letter to United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions stating that former federal policy, as                           
22 articulated in the Department of Justice's August 29, 2013, memorandum, represented "a                                  
23 pragmatic approach that effectively created space for states to be responsive to their residents                        
24 while also protecting federal priorities" and requesting the federal government to engage                               
25 directly with states to discuss potential approaches before reaching any final decisions on                             
26 changes to the Department of Justice's marijuana enforcement policies; and                                              
27      WHEREAS, on January 16, 2018, Attorney General Lindemuth and the attorneys                                         
28 general of 18 other states, districts, and territories sent a letter urging the United States                           
29 Congress to advance legislation to allow states that have legalized medical or recreational use                         
30 of marijuana to bring legal marijuana-related commerce into the banking system; and                                     
31      WHEREAS Alaska Governor Bill Walker and the governors of Colorado,                                                 
01 Washington, and Oregon sent a letter, dated April 3, 2017, urging United States Attorney                                
02 General Jeff Sessions and United States Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin to engage                               
03 with states where marijuana has been legalized before embarking on any changes to federal                               
04 regulatory and enforcement systems; and                                                                                 
05      WHEREAS Alaska Governor Bill Walker and Alaska Attorney General Jahna                                              
06 Lindemuth sent letters to United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions, dated August 1, 2017,                           
07 and August 14, 2017, stating the manner in which Alaska's regulatory framework governing                                
08 state-licensed marijuana businesses addresses federal interests and urging the federal                                  
09 government to maintain policies that respect the state's authority; and                                                 
10      WHEREAS, on January 18, 2018, United States Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan                                        
11 Sullivan joined with 14 other Senators from around the country in a letter to the Director of                           
12 the United States Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network                                     
13 expressing continuing support for a 2014 Financial Crimes Enforcement Network guidance on                               
14 Bank Secrecy Act expectations regarding marijuana-related businesses; and                                               
15      WHEREAS United States Representative Don Young is cosponsoring H.R. 4779                                           
16 (REFER Act of 2018), which would prohibit the United States Department of Justice from                                  
17 using federal funds to "detain, prosecute, sentence, or initiate civil proceedings against an                           
18 individual, business or property, that is involved in the cultivation, distribution, possession,                        
19 dispensation, or use of cannabis," when those activities are conducted in compliance with                               
20 state law and local regulations; and                                                                                    
21      WHEREAS United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions' rescission of the                                            
22 Department of Justice's August 29, 2013, memorandum and other federal guidance on state                                 
23 marijuana policy demonstrates a need to address federal law;                                                            
24      BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the federal government to                                   
25 respect the authority of the State of Alaska to regulate marijuana use, production, and                                 
26 distribution and forbear any federal interference in marijuana policy of states where marijuana                         
27 has been legalized, and urges the United States Congress to address these issues while                                  
28 respecting states' rights; and be it                                                                                    
29      FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the federal                                               
30 government to reconsider its listing of marijuana as a federal schedule I controlled substance.                         
31      COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Donald J. Trump, President                                
01 of the United States; the Honorable Jeff Sessions, Attorney General of the United States; and                           
02 the Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the Honorable Dan Sullivan, U.S. Senators, and the                                     
03 Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.                                 
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