Dr. Troy Payne, Justice faculty, was interviewed for an article in the Alaska Dispatch News about the upcoming changes in marijuana law and enforcement in Alaska. Dr. Payne was asked about arrests for marijuana possession in Anchorage and searches for marijuana.
He noted that seizures of marijuana by police are the only available data for how often police come in contact with the drug. Moreover, marijuana is common, and a small amount of the drug often "opens the door to a search that turns up something else." In effect, marijuana possession has been “a valuable tool for police and prosecutors” in criminal and other drug interdiction, and it is unknown what impacts losing that tool will have, according to Dr. Payne.
"For Anchorage police, legal pot means changes big and small" by Michelle Theriault Boots. Alaska Dispatch News, 3 Feb 2015.