Pot Eradication Money Rejected

Pot Eradication Money Rejected
Posted by CN Staff on May 22, 2008 at 16:37:55 PT
By Jason Armstrong, Tribune-Herald Staff Writer
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald 
Hawaii -- The County Council on Wednesday "just said no" to $441,000 to continue the helicopter-based marijuana eradication program.Lawmakers on May 7 cast a second and final vote to accept the state and federal "Green Harvest" grants. However, those actions were deemed invalid because the two bills were not published in local newspapers, as required by law, following the council's first vote April 22.
Wednesday, North Kona Councilman Angel Pilago, a past supporter of the controversial program, changed his position. That, along with one councilmember's absence, resulted in a 4-4 tie, which meant both bills failed."I know there was a lot of expectation that I would carry it over the hump," Pilago said in announcing he had changed his position on the issue.Calling his vote a "very difficult decision," Pilago said there are better ways to spend the money. He also said he supports ending helicopter raids that have angered numerous people, including some who maintain they are law-abiding citizens."My vote put me on the line," added Pilago, a candidate for Hawaii County mayor. "My sacrifice is a big one. It may have cost me the mayoral seat."South Kona Councilwoman Brenda Ford, Hamakua Councilman Dominic Yagong and Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole also voted to turn down the money.Innocent people suffer invasions of privacy and other impacts when police hire private helicopters to search for pot fields, Naeole said. She called for police to focus more on crystal methamphetamine, commonly called "ice," and other hard drugs.Ford said her objection is purely financial."I'm not willing to pay one dollar of our money for this program to continue," she said of a requirement that the county put up $63,500 in matching funds.Yagong's objection dealt with the helicopters, which he called "very invasive and very intrusive on the quality of people's lives." He said police need to find a different way of locating and destroying marijuana plants.Hilo members J Yoshimoto, Stacy Higa and Donald Ikeda joined Chairman Pete Hoffmann of Kohala in voting to accept the money.Higa said he's worried about the federal government taking over the program, which police have said will likely happen if they don't run it.Yoshimoto said he supports the grants because the money would have been used to target pakalolo dealers.Hoffmann and Ikeda did not elaborate on their respective reasons for voting to accept the money.Ka'u Councilman Bob Jacobson was absent.The council's vote drew applause from the dozen or so pro-marijuana advocates who attended the daylong meeting and stuck around for the outcome.Note: Pilago's reversal yields tie vote, costs police $441K.Newshawk: KonagoldSource: Hawaii Tribune Herald (Hilo, HI)Author: Jason Armstrong, Tribune-Herald Staff WriterPublished: Thursday, May 22, 2008Copyright: 2008 Hawaii Tribune HeraldContact: letters hawaiitribune-herald.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #5 posted by konagold on May 24, 2008 at 21:50:54 PT:
2nd article add your comment there your comment at the above url
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Comment #4 posted by Had Enough on May 23, 2008 at 10:20:31 PT
Money …
It’s a hit!!!Yep running out of money…We will see more of this in the future.The ‘Golden Rule’ of ‘those who have the gold make the rules’...might just end up on depending on what someone perceives as ‘gold’Supertramp - Dreamer
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Comment #3 posted by OverwhelmSam on May 23, 2008 at 05:21:40 PT
What's This?
Did a governing body just vote for the protection of the People? There may be hope for government yet/
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Comment #2 posted by museman on May 23, 2008 at 00:03:36 PT
"just said no"
You go around making stupid statements, they are liable to come back and bite you in the ass.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 22, 2008 at 17:07:22 PT
Press Release From MPP
Bill To Protect Prop. 215 Passes Assembly Appropriations CommitteeMay 22, 2008
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