Pubdate: Wed, 21 Mar 2001
Source: Anchorage Daily News (AK)
Copyright: 2001 The Anchorage Daily News
Contact:  P.O. Box 149001, Anchorage, AK 99514
Fax: Fax (907) 264-8794
Author: Al Anders


The recent raids by the Anchorage police of legitimate merchants for the 
crime of "selling drug paraphernalia" is an egregious waste of valuable 
police resources and an affront to the rights of all Alaskans, especially 
those who use marijuana as medicine.

Thanks to this action, merchants who pay thousands of dollars in property 
taxes and employ dozens of workers are facing financial ruin. Why? Have we 
done such a good job in solving violent and property crimes that busting 
vendors of glass pipes has moved to the top of the agenda? Police, 
including five detectives, spent from noon to 11 p.m. just confiscating 
property from one very small store. Another 30-plus police man-hours was 
spent at the Black Market. What a waste.

Of course using marijuana is legal in Alaska. It's legal as medicine and 
it's also legal as a privacy matter. The Ravin decision, a unanimous 1975 
Supreme Court ruling that the right to use marijuana in one's home is 
protected by the Alaska Constitution -- the right to privacy -- was 
reaffirmed in 1993 by the Alaska Superior Court (McNeil vs. State).

I urge everyone to contact their Assembly members and the mayor. Tell them 
how you feel. Visit our Web site for their e-mail 
addresses and phone numbers.

- -- Al Anders, chair

Free Hemp In Alaska

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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart