(Reuters) - Backers of a measure to legalize recreational marijuana use in Alaska submitted 45,000 signatures on Wednesday in support of their cause, more than enough to put the matter to voters later this year, they said.
"Marijuana prohibition is a failed policy that has made criminals out of law-abiding Alaskans and Americans for far too long," said Tim Hinterberger, a co-sponsor of the initiative and a professor of neuroanatomy at the University of Alaska Anchorage, told Reuters.
The measure, which would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants of their own, would make Alaska the third state to legalize recreational pot use after Colorado and Washington voted to do so in 2012.
If enough signatures are validated - roughly 30,000 are needed - the measure will be eligible to go before Alaska voters in the 2014 primary election in August.
Alaska election officials did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Dan Grebler)
- Politics & Government