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Ravin v. Alaska

    Brief Fact Summary.

    The right to privacy includes the possession and ingestion of substances.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    Citizens of Alaska may consume marijuana in their homes for personal, noncommercial use.

    Facts.

    The right to privacy includes the possession and ingestion of substances, including marijuana.

    Issue.

    Whether citizens of the State of Alaska have a right to privacy in their homes, regarding the possession and ingestion of marijuana, a personal, non-commercial setting.

    Held.

    Yes, citizens of Alaska have a right to privacy in their homes to possess and ingest marijuana, so long as it remains a personal, non-commercial setting.

    Discussion.

    The court accepts the fact marijuana has been tested by many medical researches, and the reports have resulted in contradictory results, in regards to the potential dangers of marijuana. However, the results have consistently agreed with the fact that marijuana has an effect on an individual’s ability to drive. The state has previously resolved an issue by finding a conflict with the general public’s safety. Therefore, the court reasoned that, due to potential for serious harm to the general public when an individual drives under the influence of marijuana, resulting in a passive and inactive behavior, the right to drive under the influence should be suppressed. However, the court did not find adequate justification for the State to intrude on citizens right to privacy to consume marijuana for persona, non-commercial use in their homes.



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