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Office of Substance Misuse and Addiction Prevention

Marijuana Education

Beginning February 24, 2015, it became legal (AS 17.38) for adults ages 21 years or older to use and possess marijuana for personal use in Alaska.

During the 2017-2018 legislative session, the 30th Legislature passed Senate Bill 104 (SB104) creating a Marijuana Education and Treatment Fund. This fund serves as a special account in the general fund where 25% of the excise tax collected on marijuana products will be deposited. In accordance with AS 44.29.020(a) the Department of Health and Social Services will design and implement a comprehensive marijuana use prevention, education, and treatment program.

The Marijuana Education Program applies a shared risk and protective factor approach in the development and implementation of strategies to reduce substance use/misuse, and their associated harms. Individual, relationship, community and society level protective factors play an important role in preventing youth from using marijuana. For example, resiliency has been shown to be an individual-level protective factor, whereas family factors such as connectedness is a strong relationship-level protective factor for youth marijuana use prevention. Community and societal level protective factors include factors related to economic stability, social status, and community connectedness.

Funding is allocated to support afterschool programs statewide to build protective factors related to substance misuse among youth in grades 5-8. To learn more about the Positive Youth Development Afterschool Program, visit this Alaska Afterschool Network page here.

The Marijuana Education Program also provides resources to support school districts to deliver targeted trauma-engaged prevention activities to at-risk students to improve behavioral health issues. Resources are also provided to support justice-involved youth through a partnership with the Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice.

To learn more, please see the following research:

More information on Marijuana and Public Health in Alaska can be found here.