Marijuana in Alaska has long been legal. Now the state is struggling to regulate it.

ALASKA  – Native Alaskan Leif Abel knew how to hunt, fish, trap and grow organically by the time he was eight. In the family greenhouse, marijuana plants grew among the tomatoes, cucumbers and garden flowers. 

“On the Yukon when I was a kid, it was as normal as anything else,” he recalled. “I probably was pretty old before I realized that it was a little bit of a societal taboo.” 

Last November, Alaska legalized recreational marijuana use. The voter initiative passed 53 percent to 47 percent, but it was hardly unforeseen to people like Abel living in the state’s interior. Long ingrained in their culture, Alaskans have been growing and using marijuana in their homes for decades. 

Nearly 40 years ago, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that an adult’s right to use and possess a small amount of marijuana at home for personal use was protected under the Alaska Constitution’s...

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