Alaska voters will get the chance to vote on marijuana legalization this November during the 2014 Election. Alaska is joined by Oregon, Washington D.C., and multiple cities in Michigan and Maine in voting on marijuana legalization this year. Out of all the local and statewide elections involving marijuana legalization, Alaska is the only one I have seen trailing in the polls so far. With that being said, polling is very hard to do in Alaska due to the spread out population, rugged terrain, and size of the state.
The opposition in Alaska got a boost from the Alaska Conference of Mayors in the form of an endorsement and a donation. Per KTVA:
Another Alaskan group is voicing their opinion on Ballot Measure 2. Mayors from across the state have a strong message: they do not want marijuana in their communities.
The Alaska Conference of Mayors passed a resolution against Ballot Measure 2 and donated $5,000 to the “Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No on 2” campaign.
The mayors say they are concerned with the message that legal pot in Alaska sends to youth. Bristol Bay Borough Mayor Dan O’Hara says kids who live in his town don’t need another substance to become addicted to.
Whether legal or not, I think the endorsement and especially the donation is in poor taste by the Alaska Conference of Mayors. What happens if Alaska voters decide to pass the legalization initiative? Will these same mayors respect the will of the voters, or trample on democracy by trying to block implementation of the initiative?
I hope supporters of the initiative work extra hard to ensure victory on Election Day to send a message to these mayors that their actions are not OK, and that it’s time for a new approach.