That’s the big news out of Alaska: The proposal to decriminalize the possession of marijuana, despite sponsors tempering their approach since the last legalization attempt, was close to defeat Tuesday at press time. The proposal would have made it legal for those 21 and over to possess, sell, use and grow the drug. … David Finkelstein, a former state Democratic lawmaker and treasurer of one of several pro-marijuana groups in Anchorage, said television and radio news outlets in Anchorage sensationalized a recent murder that was allegedly tied to marijuana use. “I’m not saying we would have won otherwise, but it derailed the campaign and made it hard to get our message out,” he said. “It’s just one of those things that’s hard to control.” What a shame. So does pot make people apathetic stoners or crazed maniacs? Drug warriors should get their argument straight. And what’s the deal with this bear baiting thing? The initiative banning bear baiting would have made it a misdemeanor to intentionally feed bears for the purpose of hunting, viewing or photographing them. The proposed law would have been punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and up to a year in jail.
Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.