ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Last Frontier state just may become the first in the nation to legalize marijuana (search) completely.
Backers of a controversial ballot initiative want pot to be treated just like alcohol. If voters pass the measure, it would be legal to grow, smoke and sell any amount of marijuana so long as one is 21 years of age. The state would regulate the cannabis industry just as it licenses booze and cigarettes.
"Alaskans are independent and I think Alaskans believe people should have the maximum freedom of choice," said Ken Jacobus, a pro-marijuana attorney. "Adults can choose cigarettes, they can choose alcohol."
Alaskans can currently possess small amounts of pot for use in their homes, and medical marijuana (search) is allowed.
State Attorney General Gregg Renkes (search) opposes the initiative. He says liberalizing the drug laws will "lead to a higher rate of addiction for marijuana and other drugs.
"It will increase the burden on the state, and I think it's really a disservice to our young people."