Alaska's Marijuana Ballot Measure Language Proves Explosive Issue for Dueling Campaigns

Opponents of marijuana legalization are concerned that if Alaska's Ballot Measure 2 (legalizing the recreational use of marijuana) passes, Alaskans would see an increase in butane hash oil, and with that, an increase in explosions in its production, although proponents argue the dangerous method of extraction could be strictly regulated.

The specific concern about hash oil is reflective of a larger question about the measure -- one on which the campaigns disagree: When it comes to the rule-making process outlined in the initiative, how much room is there for adding limitations?

Opponents argue limiting the home production of butane hash oil, among other issues, is something that would substantially conflict with the wording of the initiative.

But proponents of the measure -- and attorneys unaffiliated with either campaign -- disagree. A rule-making process specifically outlined in the initiative gives the state nine months to set up rules regulating marijuana through a marijuana control board, which could be housed under the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. Beyond that, the Legislature can also make its own amendments to the initiative, a protection guaranteed in the state's constitution as long as the amendments do not constitute a repeal of the initiative.