US Marijuana Party

Thursday, February 02, 2006

House rejects drug bill changes

Associated Press

The Alaska House today rejected the Senate's changes to a drug bill that would have rolled into one measure new laws on marijuana, methamphetamines and steroids.

The bill was sent back to the Senate on a 15-to-23 vote. The Senate can rescind from its changes or else a conference committee will be appointed to come up with a compromise.

The House passed the bill 33-to-0 last year when it was simply a measure to make it more difficult to buy the ingredients used to manufacture methamphetamine.

But the Senate Finance Committee, when it received the measure, tacked on a marijuana bill that was a priority of Governor Murkowski.

The marijuana bill seeks harsher penalties for marijuana possession and is an attempt to overturn a 31-year-old court decision that allows small amounts of marijuana in the home.

The Senate also removed a requirement that a person sign a logbook when buying a methamphetamine precursor like Sudafed. Several House members say that stripped the bill of its effectiveness.

Others objected to the marijuana provisions, saying it was an infringement on the right to privacy.

Still others who voted no today objected to the Senate's inclusion of provisions that had not been fully vetted by House committees.


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