How Public Opinion Influenced Cannabis Legalization in Alaska


Alaska legalized recreational cannabis back in 2015, making it one of the earlier states to do so. We legalized it just after Oregon and Washington, D.C., which puts it in good company with other states that have progressive cannabis laws. This became possible because of a dramatic shift in how the public thinks about cannabis in recent years.

Gallup and General Social Survey conducted research about how people think about cannabis that dates all the way back to 1969. At that time, only 12% of people said they thought it should be legal, while 84% said they thought it should be illegal (with the remainder undecided or choosing not to answer.

It was a slow journey from there to get to where we are today. In about 2010, public opinion about cannabis legality crossed over. As of about 2014, the percentage of the population who thought it should be legal was up to 52%, while only 45% of people still thought it cannabis should be illegal.

Why Did People Change Their Mind About Cannabis?

The biggest reason people have changed their minds about cannabis over time is that they realized just how safe it is. As recently as the 1970s or 1980s, the majority of people felt that cannabis consumption led to the use of hard drugs. By the early 2010s, most people realized that wasn’t true. Another thing that helped the legalization effort is that more people tried cannabis for themselves. People who have experienced it for themselves or were close to someone who did are much less likely to believe it’s dangerous.

Alaska Marijuana Laws

Alaska’s laws about cannabis changed only shortly after public opinion did, which is a political success for this state. There are a couple of reasons that people from both parties can get behind the legalization effort. For one, members of all political parties generally believe that it isn’t worth the money it costs to enforce marijuana laws. This is especially true since people are realizing that cannabis doesn’t present much of a danger to society. People also started to realize that some communities are more adversely affected than others by antiquated cannabis laws.

Another thing that led to the legal shift is that millennials started voting. Ever since they came of legal voting age, millennials were as supportive of cannabis legalization as any other group. Over time, the group has started to represent an even bigger percentage of the pro-cannabis population. The introduction of millennials into the voting populace may have a lot to do with the very sudden swing in public opinion. Since 2010, for example, support for legalization has increased among every major demographic and political group.

The result for Alaska is that adults over the age of 21 can now legally have up to one ounce of cannabis for personal use. They can also grow as many as six of their own cannabis plants at home and can have the additional flower from any of those plants.

Where to Get Legal Recreational Cannabis Alaska

Now that cannabis is legal in Alaska, you can find a great selection of it at your local dispensary. Stop by Bad Gramm3r to see our wide selection of premium cannabis products! You’ll be glad it’s legal when you see how much the legal status of cannabis has allowed for innovation within this industry in just the last few years. Our products are staying ahead of the times, which allows you to choose from one of the best selections of legal cannabis anywhere. Come see us today, and our experienced staff will happily walk you through all of our different offerings.