Pot legal in Alaska, but no toking up on state ferries

Despite last fall’s legalization vote, you’re still not allowed to get stoned on state ferries.

The Alaska Marine Highway System recently announced new procedures for passengers with pot.

ferry LeConte
Alaska Marine Highway ferry LeConte docked in Skagway, 2009. (Photo by JWebber/Wikimedia Commons

The bottom line is — you can’t consume marijuana anywhere on a ship, including a stateroom or the solarium.

But spokesman Jeremy Woodrow says crew members won’t actively search for pot. But they’ll monitor anyone suspected of carrying a large quantity, and in compliance with state law, passengers won’t get in trouble for having an ounce or less.

“If the passenger is discovered with more than an ounce of marijuana, the marine highway system can report that person to authorities at the next port of call,” he said. “That will be either the U.S. Coast Guard or local authorities.

He says the rules may be adjusted if new state laws and regulations call for changes.

Woodrow says anyone smoking openly will be told to stop. Crewmembers can detain people causing any kind of trouble, but that’s not common.

“People are usually fairly compliant with crew members,” says Woodrow. “Crew members aren’t out going out to create conflict. Really, all these rules are set for passenger safety.”

The measure passed by Alaska voters called for marijuana to be regulated like alcohol.

The ferry system has shut down on-board bars to save money. But Woodrow says beer and wine will still be allowed in specific parts of some ships.

“They will be allowed to purchase and consume alcohol in a section of the cafeteria. But that is the only place on board the ship they’ll be allowed to do that, other than if they have a stateroom,” he said.

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