Updated on January 3, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Alaska medical marijuana penalties are lenient — to a point. While the state allows the use of recreational weed, the punishment for exceeding legal limits is very tough. The state has long allowed people to possess and use an ounce or less, whether they use it medicinally or recreationally. In fact, you can have up to four ounces in your home. But the punishment quickly escalates after that.
Again, having an ounce or less of weed on your person is legal, carrying no penalties whatsoever. And you can legally possess up to four ounces in your home. However, if you get caught outside your home with more than an ounce of cannabis on you, then you could face up to a year in jail and a $10,000 fine. If you are caught with four ounces or more — no matter where you are — you will be charged with a felony. The punishments are up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $50,000. Sharing less than an ounce of marijuana carries no penalty, but using it in a public place is a civil infraction that carries a fine of no more than $100.
Also, if you are caught with any amount of marijuana within 500 feet of a recreation center or a school, that could be considered a felony offense as well. A person charged with this offense, however, may be able to raise an affirmative defense in court that he or she only used cannabis within a private home. This could lead to the charge being dropped. Caregivers can legally deliver up to one ounce of weed to any medical patient 21 years of age or older.
Cultivating up to six plants — as long as no more than three of those marijuana plants are mature — carries no penalty. Likewise, you can grow up to 25 plants in your home with no penalty. However, anyone caught growing 25 plants or more could face a punishment of as many as five years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
The law requires that plants cannot be visible to the general public without the use of any kind of optical aid, such as binoculars. In addition, cultivation must take place on property that is secured from unauthorized access. It can only occur on property that is either owned by the cultivator or with the consent of the owner. A violation of these rules is punishable by a fine of no more than $750.
Caregivers must be at least 21 years old and can never have been convicted of a controlled substance penalty that carried felony punishment. Medical marijuana patients must list caregivers as either primary or alternate, and they may only name one primary and one alternate caregiver.
People can only serve as a caregiver for one patient at a time. The only way they can serve two or more patients simultaneously is if those patients are related to the caregiver.
If you’re in need of medical cannabis, MarijuanaDoctors.com provides a comprehensive list of qualified doctors in Alaska. Take a look today so you can start the process to get the relief you need.