The personal freedom Alaskans not only expect, but rely upon, exposes a significant need for federal cooperation in the reformation of marijuana laws, including the removal or reclassification of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This Comment summarizes this issue in light of Alaska’s recent recreational marijuana legalization. In doing so, elements unique to Alaska and their likely influence on the state's upcoming marijuana legislation; the history and evolution of Alaska marijuana laws; and the scholarly literature on Alaska marijuana law regarding the tensions between federal and state marijuana regulation are discussed. This Comment proposes that marijuana be removed from the Controlled Substance Act and that the federal government take a page out of Alaska's book in setting up a new marijuana regulatory system by shifting oversight of marijuana regulation from the Drug Enforcement Administration to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Such a solution could provide for consistency among the continuing emergence of state recreational marijuana laws while still allowing each state to properly police itself on the basis of its unique needs.
Alaska: North to the Future of Federal Marijuana Regulation,
32 Alaska Law Review
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/alr/vol32/iss2/5