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Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana in Hawaii Heads to Governor’s Desk

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A bill to reduce the penalty for marijuana possession of 3 grams or less in Hawaii has been sent to Governor David Ige’s desk for final approval. This may be the strictest possession limit in the country, but it’s a step forward. Those found in possession of this small amount or less, according to HB1383 HD2 SD1 CD1, would be fined $130.

That’s a rather steep fine for such a small amount of marijuana but the legislation also includes a provision to expunge criminal records for possession of 3 grams or less, Forbes reported.

Recommendations to change marijuana use penalties (and their outcomes) would be done by creating a marijuana evaluation task force. Many argue that the decriminalization legislation leaves a lot to be desired.

Medical marijuana patients and visiting medical marijuana patients are also allowed to take their medicine from one island to another thanks to the passage of HB290 HD1 SD2 CD1.

Nikos Leverenz, the DPFH Board President, said, “This decriminalization of cannabis possession for personal use, even with this unduly small threshold, is a welcome development. Hopefully this measure will make some inroads on the over 1,000 Hawaii residents who are arrested for misdemeanor cannabis possession each year. Continued criminalization of cannabis possession is injurious to individual and public health as it fuels legal, medical, and social stigma. For many this stigma drives their criminal justice system involvement and erects barriers to employment and medical care. The criminal justice system should focus on those activities that pose a tangible safety risk to others. Cannabis possession is not among them.”