By ANNE SUTTON
The Associated Press
January 11, 2006
JUNEAU -- Lawmakers for the second year are trying to toughen Alaska's marijuana laws, but critics say state government should leave the little guy alone and go after commercial growers.
Alaska laws regarding marijuana use are among the loosest in the country. A 1975 Alaska Supreme Court decision made it legal for Alaskans to possess up to 4 ounces of marijuana for personal use in their homes.
Backed by Republican Gov. Frank Murkowski, the bill to re-criminalize personal use of the drug stalled last year but was heard again Tuesday.
The bill proposes to stiffen penalties for marijuana users. It would make possession of 4 ounces of pot or more a felony. Possession of less than 4 ounces would be a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail.