Friday, February 8, 2013

Fed's Biggest Concern About Legal Weed States Does Not Apply to Hawaii

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Activist Post

Hawaii is the first state to file and debate legislation that would legalize recreational marijuana since voters passed legalization ballot measures in Colorado and Washington state this past fall.

The bill HB 699, Personal Use of Marijuana; Licenses to Cultivate, Manufacture, Test, or Sell Marijuana, was introduced on January 24th of this year and is modeled after the measures passed in Colorado and Washington.

HB 699 allows adults over 21 to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, to grow up to five plants per adult, and it establishes a regulatory system for cultivating, selling, and taxing cannabis. In short, it will treat marijuana like alcohol.

The Judiciary Committee of the Hawaii State House is set to vote on the bill on February 12th sending in to a full vote in the House. If passed, it will be the first time a state legislature instead of voters defies federal prohibition laws.

However, the feds have indicated that they intend to respect the states that have already legalized. When Washington's Governor Jay Inslee told US Attorney General Eric Holder of his intention to implement Initiative 502, he was "satisfied" and "encouraged" by the meeting.

Holder's biggest concern is how legal weed states would prevent legally-obtained marijuana from crossing state lines. This concern would seem to be moot for the island state of Hawaii where transporting marijuana to another state is simply not feasible or practical.

Therefore, it would seem that Hawaii has an upper hand when it comes to dispelling the Department of Justice's biggest concern of maintaining legal pot within the state.

A recent survey showed that a majority of Hawaiian citizens support legalizing and regulating marijuana. The poll showed 57 percent in favor of legalization, 69 percent want no criminal punishment, while a staggering 78 percent want a dispensary system for medical marijuana.

A study conducted by the University of Hawaii was released at the same time as the poll showing that Hawaii stands to benefit by an estimated $20 million per year should marijuana be legalized.

The report states,
By decriminalizing marijuana, Hawaii could redirect over $9 million annually in law enforcement costs," and "By legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana, Hawaii could conservatively add an additional estimated $11 million in yearly revenues.
With the tide turning on public opinion, undeniable economic benefits, and federal concerns pacified, Hawaii may indeed become the next state to legalize marijuana.

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Anonymous said...

I still don't understand how you can be allowed to have one ounce and five plants. So, the instant you trim the buds off your legal plants you become a felon? Retarded logic, if I dare use the word.

Government is effin' stupid, and damn cruel.

Hugh said...

We all know that someday, soon, this prohibition will end.

I spent 5 years in Federal Prison for a marijuana offense.

The memorable day that I met with the parole panel, I asked, "When pot becomes legal, what will my 5 years spent in prison have meant?"

Their response, "That is a very philosophical question. We don't deal with philosophy in this office."

Case closed...go back to your cell.

When the 5 years were gone, I walked out and never looked back. But, I know to this day, there are thousands of Americans still rotting in jail over a plant.

I wrote about the escapades that led to my book:
Shoulda Robbed a Bank

I would be honored by your review.

Hugh said...

With all of the rhetoric surrounding the marijuana debate, the concept most overlooked:

Freedom of the individual.

“…over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign”.”
— from the essay On Liberty by John Stuart Mill

What happened to, "This is a FREE country"?

That is what we have been telling the rest of the world for decades.
Please, let us live up to it.

Lead by example.

Anonymous said...

Legalize it. Alcohol is far more dangerous. After regulation and taxes satisfies the state we can all enjoy marijuana

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm moving back to Maui!

keakealani said...

I know it's a really minor/semantic point, but there is a difference between "Hawaiian citizen" (i.e., someone who is a citizen and ethnically Native Hawaiian) and "citizen/resident of Hawaii" (i.e., someone who lives in or identifies with living in Hawaii).

Anonymous said...

___one ounce and five plants___

Hey right now that is a tad bit better than a $100 fine in California!

Although, a bigger picture is missing here, since not everyone wants to smoke it.

Professional food packaging services need to get involved, so there can be safe tested (CBA/CBD/THC) edibles, salves, etc.

Some people can't grow. And even _if_ you are going to grow, only growing five plants isn't going to be enough to make oils, edibles, etc. It's like they assume everyone is going to grow and only smoke.

It's like the much of the dialog is still missing here. But it's a start, and I would go with the start, instead of turning it down and having what we have now.

e.g. being targeted for raids.

Yet still, the chance to legalize doesn't come around very often.

Tread carefully.

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