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Alaska Voters Approve Measure to Recriminalize Marijuana

November 7, 1990 GMT

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) _ Alaskans have voted to again make private possession of marijuana a crime, striking down the nation’s most liberal pot law.

Fifty-five percent of voters approved the measure.

For 15 years, Alaska law has permitted adults to possess less than 4 ounces of the drug in their homes and other private places.

Ballot Measure 2 will make possession of small amounts of marijuana a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. The new law takes effect in late February.

″It’s wonderful,″ said Marie Majewske, the Anchorage grandmother who led the initiative campaign. ″I have great faith in the people of this state. I truly believed they would do the right thing.

″I think that this will say to people that the law didn’t work, and we need to be looking in the other direction, toward a drug-free environment for our children. The only way to do that is to tell them it’s illegal.″

The race was closer than most observers expected. Polls had shown the measure supported by a nearly 2-to-1 margin as late as a week ago.

″It certainly doesn’t look like a mandate, does it?″ said Glenda Straube, campaign manager for Alaskans for Privacy, which led opposition to the measure.

Straube said the measure will be challenged in court based on the strong privacy clause in the Alaska Constitution.

″We’ve had people around the state call and volunteer to be arrested″ for a test case, she said.