Today, Alaska joined Washington State, Colorado and Oregon in taking steps to nullify in practice the decades-long unconstitutional federal prohibition on marijuana.

Ballot Measure 2, which was approved by Alaska voters in Nov. 2014 by a 53-47 margin, went into effect today, legalizing marijuana for the general public, and the first step to effectively nullify the unconstitutional federal prohibition on the same.

At this very moment, Alaskans are now allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana for recreational possession. They can grow up to six plants in their place of residence with three of them being mature. Alaskans are allowed to gift lawful quantities of marijuana to others if they so choose. These new rules apply only to people aged 21 or older.

However, there is still a ways to go before Alaska’s legal marijuana distribution system becomes similar to the one used in Colorado. Alaska’s law is not yet in full effect, and it is going to take time to fully implement. An Alaska Dispatch News article elaborates on this:

Don’t expect retail marijuana stores to pop up next to your favorite pizza place for at least one more year. Commercial marijuana businesses — whether they are planning to grow, process, bake, or sell marijuana products — won’t be able to legally operate until spring or summer of 2016.

Some folks have asked why it’s taking so long. We voted for this, so why isn’t it happening? The answer is, it is happening. Since January, our Legislature has been working to bring existing criminal statutes into line with the voter initiative. Tuesday marks the beginning of a nine-month rulemaking process during which the regulations under which marijuana businesses will operate will be developed and refined. Under the provisions of the voter initiative, the state is expected to begin accepting applications for operating permits by February 2016 — a full year from now. This timeline was clearly defined in the voter initiative and, so far, the process is on schedule.

Although it hasn’t quite happened yet, a state-regulated market for recreational marijuana is on its way to Alaska. The best thing about these types of reforms is that they are completely, undeniably legal. The states have no obligation to any administer federal policy, whether it is to prohibit marijuana or anything else.


Congress and the president claim the constitutional authority to ban marijuana. The Supreme Court concurs. But the opinions of black-robed judicial oracles don’t magically transform the meaning of the Constitution. It delegates no power to regulate plants grown and used within the borders of a state. And the so-called war on drugs rests on the same legal authority as all of the other modern-day undeclared wars.


Never-the-less, 23 states had already put the well-being of their citizens above faux federal supremacy, nullified the unconstitutional prohibition and legalized marijuana to varying degrees anyway.

The message? When enough people say NO to unconstitutional federal “laws” – and enough states back them up, there’s not much the feds can do about it.

“The rapidly growing and wildly successful state-level movement to legalize marijuana, either completely, or for medical use, proves that states can successfully nullify unconstitutional federal acts. The feds can claim the authority to prohibit pot all they want, but it clearly has done nothing to deter states from moving forward with plans to allow it, pushed by the will of the people,” Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin said.

Michael Maharrey of the Tenth Amendment Center weighed in on the issue as well, saying, “The Constitution delegates no power to the federal government to prohibit marijuana in the states. This power remains with the state governments and the people. Doubt me? Then ask yourself why it required a constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol. There is no fundamental difference.”

The bottom line is that noncompliance works. State legalization effectively nullifies the unconstitutional federal prohibition on weed. The feds can’t even put a dent in it. Not even a scratch. Consider the impact if state and local law enforcement refuses to cooperate as well. States with any form of legalized marijuana should immediately direct state and local law enforcement to stand down. If the feds want to enforce federal laws, let them try to do it themselves.

The 10th Amendment

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”



Featured Articles

On the Constitution, history, the founders, and analysis of current events.

featured articles


Tenther Blog and News

Nullification news, quick takes, history, interviews, podcasts and much more.

tenther blog


State of the Nullification Movement

232 pages. History, constitutionality, and application today.

get the report


Path to Liberty

Our flagship podcast. Michael Boldin on the constitution, history, and strategy for liberty today

path to liberty


Maharrey Minute

The title says it all. Mike Maharrey with a 1 minute take on issues under a 10th Amendment lens. maharrey minute

Tenther Essentials

2-4 minute videos on key Constitutional issues - history, and application today


Join TAC, Support Liberty!

Nothing helps us get the job done more than the financial support of our members, from just $2/month!



The 10th Amendment

History, meaning, and purpose - the "Foundation of the Constitution."

10th Amendment



Get an overview of the principles, background, and application in history - and today.