Hawaii House Bill 699 legalizing the Personal Use of Marijuana; Licenses to Cultivate, Manufacture, Test, or Sell Marijuana, was killed by the Judiciary Committee today citing that "there is not enough support to pass the bill in the House."
The bill would have allowed adults over 21 to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and to grow up to five plants. It also would have established a regulatory system for cultivating, selling, and taxing cannabis much like is being done in Colorado and Washington state.
The committee's decision was whether to put the measure to a vote in the House or not. They claimed that since there was not enough support to pass it, why even have a vote. Hence, the bill was dropped and blocked from a broader vote.
It seems Hawaii lawmakers have not caught up to the residents of Hawaii who overwhelmingly support decriminalization and full legalization of cannabis. A recent survey showed 57 percent of Hawaiian residents support full legalization, 69 percent want decriminalization, and 78 percent want a medical cannabis dispensary system.
“My gut feeling is that there is going to be some improvement in the cannabis laws this session but only if we step up to the plate,” said Andrea Tischler, chair of Big Island Americans for Safe Access. ”It will be a long process because there are many bills relating to cannabis and medical cannabis during this session that will be heard in the committees.”
Although the federal government still prohibits marijuana, it seems to be allowing legal weed states to pursue the will of voters. Their biggest concern appears to be having marijuana legally obtained in one state from crossing state lines. Hawaii is a unique state in that it can easily prevent legal pot from leaving state lines due to it being an island far away from the mainland US.
Below is the video of the Hawaii Judiciary hearing on HB 699:
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