Newsbrief: Alaska District Attorney to Challenge 1975 Court Decision Protecting Marijuana Possession by Adults 12/17/04

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http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/367/alaska.shtml

courtesy NORML News, http://www.norml.org

The district attorney for the city of Anchorage, at the behest of Gov. Frank Murkowski, is requesting a judge to reexamine a 1975 Alaska Supreme Court ruling (Ravin v. State) which determined that the possession of marijuana by adults within the home is a constitutionally protected activity. The request comes three months after the Alaska Supreme Court denied a petition by the state attorney general's office to reconsider a 2003 Court of Appeals ruling upholding the 1975 case.

As a result of the Ravin decision, adults may legally possess up to four ounces of marijuana in the privacy of their own home.

State officials are alleging that marijuana today is more dangerous than it was perceived to be at the time of the Ravin decision, and that these harms are sufficient to override Alaska's constitutional right to privacy. Officials said that they envision the legislature to hold hearings on the issue this spring.

The state appeals courts have acknowledged that they would be "willing to consider Ravin if presented with compelling new evidence that small amounts of marijuana are harmful," according to a report this week in the Anchorage Daily News.

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Issue #367 -- 12/17/04

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