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Marijuana: Hawaii County Council Rejects "Green Harvest" Eradication Program

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #538)
Consequences of Prohibition
Politics & Advocacy

By the narrowest of margins, the Aloha State's Big Island Hawaii County Council has rejected a state and federally funded marijuana eradication program known as "Green Harvest." The action came during a council meeting last week, when the council tied 4-4 on whether to continue to support the widely criticized program. The tie vote meant the motion to accept the funding failed.

Volcano National Park, Hawaii Island
"Green Harvest" began in Hawaii three decades ago and has been controversial ever since. Many residents opposed the program, saying low-flying helicopters searching for pot fields disrupted rural life and invaded their privacy. Others argued that the program has done little to eradicate marijuana and even promoted the use of other, more dangerous drugs.

By the 1990s, council members heeding public complaints began expressing reservations about the helicopter missions. In 2000, they rejected $265,000 in federal eradication funds, two-thirds of the program's money that year. But the following year, they once again accepted the full amount offered.

But last week's vote means the council will say "no thanks" to $441,000 in state and federal funds for "Green Harvest." It also means the county will save the $53,000 from its own budget that would have been its share of the operation's financial burden.

Last month, the council had narrowly approved "Green Harvest" on a 5-3 vote, but that vote had to be redone because the council failed to publish the legislation in local newspapers, as required by law. That provided the opportunity for Councilman Angel Pilago to change his vote and kill the program.

"This will have long-term impacts," Pilago said. "When we institute programs we, the county government, need to look at if they are detrimental to people's rights and the health and safety of the community. That's what we do," he told the Associated Press after the vote. "It's about home rule," he said. "The county must be assertive and aggressive and not defer certain powers to the state and federal governments. We must not cede those powers."

Pilago is running for mayor of Hawaii County, and his vote on "Green Harvest," as well as his support for a lowest law enforcement priority initiative currently underway there, could help him draw a contrast between himself and incumbent Mayor Harry Kim, who is a "Green Harvest" supporter.

"My position is no secret," Kim told the AP. "I support eradication, as long as it's done in a way that is not harmful to people who should not be harmed, as far as noise and catchment systems and all those concerns. I'm against all drugs. Marijuana is an illegal drug."

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

its gonna take balls to reject the feds good for them .next i would set antiaircraft guns up and shoot those crimnals down .how dare they tell americans they cant grow marijuana.

Fri, 05/30/2008 - 9:03am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

The real problem is the money that these cash strapped councils just can't say NO to.

It is going to take electing Libertarian minded council people who will tell the Feds to take there funding and shove it.

Fri, 05/30/2008 - 2:05pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Seems like libertarian ideals are finally making a comeback.

Forget tax & regulate! Prohibitionists don't deserve a dime... they deserve prison and asset forfeiture for violating self-evidence... again!

Always assert your right of self-defense... against all rogue criminal organizations and home invaders... including professional home invaders like the dumb evil assholes (dea)!

Oh crazy crackhead christians why couldn't you have been buddhists instead. Searching for enlightment through understanding rather then blind faith in your ancient, and quite laughable, mythology!

Thor, son of Odin... may you crush the heads and spines of the prohibitionist and the criminal tools that support them, with your mighty hammer of justice!

Fri, 05/30/2008 - 3:13pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Stupid cops need a good slap on the wrist. Good job Hawaii!!

Fri, 05/30/2008 - 5:06pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Lets just hope Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Molokai will follow in their footsteps. Let the feds keep the funds and let the Hawaiian Islands keep their freedom.

Tue, 06/03/2008 - 3:52pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Do we need to start hiding our plants or something?

Fri, 06/13/2008 - 3:51pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

we need to stop these helicopters o Oahu too! There's a rummer that they have heat sensors but thats probable a myth to scare us growers into putting are plants in bushy areas. there trying to scare the sunlight off my plant thus having less yield. well i don't give a crap about heat bull shit I'm growing in the open. I'm american for shit-sakes I'll should have the freedom to grow where ever when ever!!

Thu, 10/02/2008 - 8:57am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

no thats not a rumor thats foreal the feds frm the fuckin mainland waste thousands of dollars building dat shit for get rid of one fuckin plant, some fuckin brains they get

Sat, 05/02/2009 - 10:08am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

yea long time took dem for figure out that its part of Hawai?i kultcha! pakalolo always

Thu, 10/09/2008 - 3:24am Permalink
Anonymous1 (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

That is not a part of "Hawaiian Culture" i find that comment very offensive.  And further more may be if you stop smoking you would know how to spell.  Keep your Hawaiian culture comments to yourself!!!  That is not what are state is all about.  Our Queen was fighting for unity and the protection of her people...  I am PROUD to be HAWAIIAN and can't stand people slandering our culture..  What have you done for your people lately?  SHAME ON YOU!!!!  Where is your respect for your people.

Wed, 10/17/2012 - 7:38pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

love it so much! pakaz wide! no more trouble..upcoming seasons is gonna be mean! waimea nightmareZ is kumin baK!!!!!...big thanks and maholos 2 Roger Christie!

Tue, 10/28/2008 - 3:48am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Marijuana is an illegal drug. Why should we be given the oppurtunity to avoid laws. By the way, thermal scanning does take place. If this drug promoted positive mental development, i'd support it. But it doesn't.

Tue, 01/06/2009 - 8:55pm Permalink
craig3000 (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

look the crap about smoking pot and being a loser is bull. you can smoke weed and still become the president of the united states. we have two that have admitted it. 

Fri, 09/24/2010 - 9:32am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Am I suppose to want to medicate myself everyday? I don't understand...It has no good benefits, it doesn't do anything but allow people to make money on it..and anyone who says it doesn't cause problems, yeah for you ...but I have seen a different side of it...pot is the white man's crack

Wed, 04/01/2009 - 9:08pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

"Marijuana is an illegal drug. Why should we be given the oppurtunity to avoid laws."

Cannabis was used for thousands upon thousands of years as a healthy medicine.

You should really do some more research. Fools talk the loudest.

Thank you to Roger Christie for supporting our Constitutional Right to LIFE.

Fri, 05/15/2009 - 10:11pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

The only people who support this are the ones who use...
The guy who founded the Mormon religion wanted to have sex with underage children...great job guys! Making the world a great place!!!! Advocate for something that matters...

Tue, 06/02/2009 - 4:40pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

PPl die all the time from legal drugs. Can u name one person who died from pot? It's so harmless I can't believe u guys can't see. We have a major ice epidemic and u guys complain about pakaz . U r the ones filling our jails with non violent offenders. While ppl are hanging themselves on hardcore drugs u guys worry about an innocent plant.

Thu, 06/11/2009 - 11:12am Permalink
DA BIG (not verified)

"Run From The Cure", this is what this is all about people.  The plant has medicinal purposes not only for pain but for diseases ie., cancer.  The oil can be used and is in direct competition with big-pharma THAT'S what they don't want you to know.  You use the oil, you don't get high, but it kills cancer cells.  Follow the money.

Hemp used as a commercial product costs less to grow, is more eco friendly and is stronger than cotton, find out why the cotton industry wanted hemp made illegal.  ALWAYS follow the money.

Watch the video "Run From The Cure".  You people who parrot the propaganda media are amazing, you know didly and repeat what you've been fed.  Get up to speed please, you're embarrassing.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 3:05pm Permalink
There Are Two (not verified)

If the government were smart, they'd see that marijuana is a cash crop that can easily push out major tobacco companies. Fact: the legalization of marijuana, if properly researched, processed and distributed in careful amounts could boost our economy by millions if not more within the first 5 years of production. It could be a stimulus package that costs nothing. Of course, rules should be set to accommodate non-cannabis using members of the community but this wouldn't be anything we aren't used to. Heck, take alcoholism as an example. It's allowed but with strict parameters. I think a "Don't smoke weed and drive" law wouldn't be too bad. The users that I know would rather sit and relax, if not fall asleep somewhere stationary rather than have to concentrate on driving or other tasks. Maybe a time limit for its use too? No recreational use between the hours of 8am and 5pm. This may prevent lazy workers..

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 6:18pm Permalink

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