Marijuana has been legal in Alaska since 1974 thanks to a state Supreme Court case known as Ravin verses State. Our constitution allows that under section 4 for privacy.
Yes, Alaskan troopers and police will still arrest you… anytime they feel like it without just cause. They will most likely nab you for marijuana at a traffic stop, and try to justify an arrest because of “trafficking”, never mind that’s a federal law and state officials have no authority to pursue federal law, only FBI or DEA does. (And that’s only supposed to be if you’re crossing state or country lines) They can turn you over to the Feds but they don’t because it’s expensive and the Feds don’t actually care. So basically, we live in a police state(not Alaska exactly we are pretty lucky up here) where power-mad police completely abuse their authority hoping you’re ignorant enough to plead out instead of standing up for your basic human rights and dignity. If it was brought to a jury trial then your defense can cite the Supreme Court of Alaska’s 1974 case of Ravin versus State and win.
This is the basic understanding of law enforcement coupled with our essential rights, such as the right against unreasonable search and seizure. Police will pull someone over and search through their car, without a warrant, because the road is public property, and in order to be allowed to drive on it one must “register” their car which means it is actually the property of the State. That’s why they may drive it away after arresting you and force you to buy back your own car from the impound.
I apologize that I haven’t poured over all marijuana possession cases that have been brought up in Alaska, I am only mortal and can only properly investigate so much. The basic understanding mentioned above is mind-boggling and laced with enough legal-speak as it is. I think that many have been brought to jury trial but only in local precincts, village, city or borough, and whether they cited the Alaska Supreme Court case or whether they won their cases or not, I don’t know. I could point out that law enforcement would probably rather the 1974 case not be brought up and that’s why it isn’t discussed or often mentioned in normal court cases, but that may make me seem like some conspiracy theorist.
Of course, that marijuana is federally illegal due to the logging/paper mill industry lobbyist’s desire to oust the competition of hemp may also seem like some conspiracy. As with John D. Rockefeller’s support of alcohol prohibition for no other reason than alcohol fuel was U.S. Standard Oil’s main competition.
Alcohol prohibition not only developed illegal organized crime, it developed legal organized crime in the form of monopolization and the end of free markets. Keeping hemp illegal prevents a free society just as alcohol prohibition did. All we need is for law enforcement to quit abusing their authority and encroaching on basic human rights, no new laws should be required.