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Hawaii Marijuana Legalization Bill Dies

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #771)

A bill that would have legalized marijuana died in the state legislature Tuesday. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Karl Rhoads told the Associated Press he decided to kill it after a head count found the bill would come up short in the House.

The measure, House Bill 669, would have allowed people 21 and over to possess up to an ounce and grow an unspecified number of plants in a secure location. It would also have created a system of taxed and regulated marijuana commerce. It was sponsored by House Speaker Joseph Souki (D-8), leading proponents to hope his support could help push it through the House, but that was not to be.

A public hearing last week saw now familiar arguments reprised. County police departments, the state attorney general and the Coalition for a Drug-Free Hawaii told legislators marijuana was a dangerous drug and that the social costs of legalizing it would be too high, while supporters of the bill, including the ACLU of Hawaii said legalization would save the state money and respect Hawaiians' freedom of choice. They also argued that pot prohibition disproportionately impacts the state's minorities.

Pam Lichty of the Hawaii Drug Policy Action Group told the AP the group is disappointed but will continue to fight for marijuana reform, including improving the state's medical marijuana program.

Colorado and Washington freed the weed in November, and marijuana legalization bills have been or will be introduced this year in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

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.


Anonymous8675309 (not verified)

I would like to know why? What was their reasons? Nobody ever tells us why! Are they afraid of the feds? Afraid to make the state wealthy? Just don't get it!!
Wed, 02/13/2013 - 7:49pm Permalink
SpinalTrap (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous8675309 (not verified)

Clearly, someone is making a great deal of money as a direct result of keeping it illegal. Follow the money.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 11:00am Permalink
Danky (not verified)

I have to agree it's Ok to drink alcohol but not to smoke. Alcohol causes more problems than pakalolo ever did. The hypocrosy here is that marijuana is not only misclassified but should never have been banned thru government lies. This is just more control by the Feds.
Wed, 02/13/2013 - 10:06pm Permalink
mrcrzy53 (not verified)

When are the people's (voters) wishes going to be taken seriously and the elected officials stop inserting their biases? All I'm seeing from these elected officials is (I think, I believe, you can see, etc) there is no real substance coming from these septic tanks, of how do we make this happen correctly but, how do we defeat this that the public who elected us is asking that we make it a law or God forbid endorse?
Thu, 02/14/2013 - 9:15am Permalink
Anonymous 808 (not verified)

Let's get it on the ballot so we can bypass these mokes in the legislature.  The legislature may listen to the cops, but the people will have the last word.

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 2:34pm Permalink
saynotohypocrisy (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous 808 (not verified)

No initiatives or referendums in Hawaii. It's got to go through the legislature and they are still being alcohol supremacist pigs about it.

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 10:49pm Permalink
Giordano (not verified)

The police are part of the drug problem, not the solution.  Making the cops go away, forcing them to do something better with their time and our tax money, is the entire point of legalization.

Police interference in drug law reform would be worth prohibiting if doing it were legally possible.  Deconstructing a police state may be more difficult than that.

Where drug enforcement is concerned, the opportunity exists to get inside and attack the systemic corruption of the state in a way that would resonate throughout the judiciary.  By this means it’s possible to eliminate related types of dysfunctionality and fraud.  

Think of an invading virus.  That’s us, the drug law reformers, a virus infecting the spinal cord of a corrupt government body, eating away at each malignant nerve cell, and clearing a straight path to the brain of the evil beast.

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 9:59pm Permalink
kickback (not verified)

Marijuana is a dangerous drug . The moon is actually a Dept. of Defense light show . Certain plants lack credibility . There is no distinction between marijuana and heroin . The DEA head says that the Controlled Substances Act says so . John Walters will testify to it all . How can a person live in[on] Hawaii and have no understanding of plants ? An island within an island I guess .

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 2:12am Permalink
SpinalTrap (not verified)

Keeping drugs illegal is about money, period. So I say follow the money. Find out who profits the most from current drug distribution, start watching them closely. Any group interested in keeping things illegal should be considered likely suspects in this war on greed. Let's out the selfish moneymongers and toss them all behind bars. Finally, a good use for all those prisons!

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 10:57am Permalink
sicntired (not verified)

As that is the only other drug that's got a big following in that state.Not that I would support the prohibition of any drug.Besides,I forgot alcohol,which is probably a worse problem than either of the above.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 1:14pm Permalink

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