Prior to Tuesday, the most public face of Alaska's marijuana legalization campaign was that of Charlo Greene, a local television reporter in Anchorage, who outed herself as the owner of a cannabis club during a live broadcast back in September.
Her breezy, on-air resignation went viral after she announced that she would be devoting her "energy to fighting for freedom and fairness, which begins with legalizing marijuana here in Alaska." The coda for Greene's valedictory segment contained the very four words that a pipe dream is made of: "F*ck it, I quit."
On Tuesday, Alaska joined Colorado and Washington as the only American states with recreational cannabis after the ballot initiative, which was passed in last November, officially went into effect. "Smoking, growing and owning small amounts of marijuana" are now legal, Reuters noted, even as marijuana remains illegal on the federal level. Selling marijuana will also remain illegal until a regulatory framework is set up to allow sales next year. (Public use of marijuana remains illegal as well.)
In sketching out Alaska's history with marijuana for The Atlantic back in December, Josh Kramer noted that the passage of Ballot Measure 2—the marijuana initiative—actually does little to change the status of the substance in a state where possessing small amounts of marijuana has technically been legal since 1975. However, as part of the national legalization riptide, the emergence of a first Republican-leaning state seems a noteworthy development.