Voters May Get a Crack at Pot Plan

Voters May Get a Crack at Pot Plan
Posted by CN Staff on July 25, 2008 at 19:57:18 PT
By Cameron Johnson, Tribune-Herald Staff Writer
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald
Hawaii -- Letting voters decide if marijuana enforcement should be the lowest priority of Big Island police is still the aim of one County Council member, even though a recent petition drive to do so failed."It's time to let the people decide (the marijuana issue)," Hawaii County Councilman Bob Jacobson said during a phone interview Tuesday night.
The Project Peaceful Sky petition drive needed the signatures of 4,848 registered voters but fell short by more than 2,500 signatures, election administrator Pat Nakamoto said. The petition would have put the issue before county voters in November.Though the petition drive failed, the County Council can still put the issue on the ballot if it acts swiftly.Jacobson said he plans to start the ball rolling when the council meets Aug. 13 in Keauhou. He said he plans to introduce a resolution essentially adopting the language of the petition and ask fellow council members to put it on the ballot.The proposed ordinance would leave the enforcement of laws against marijuana to each police officer's personal discretion, and would direct the County Council not to accept state or federal funds for marijuana eradication.The debate over enforcement of marijuana laws has gone on for years, said Jacobson, who represents Upper Puna, Ka'u and part of South Kona. Instead of continuing the debate, he said he wants the council to put the question to the voters."Maybe the people like to have a failed drug war and they like criminalizing a lot of young people. Maybe they do. But at least we'll know," Jacobson said.Due to the time crunch before the November election, Jacobson's measure would need to have its first reading during the Aug. 13 council meeting, County Clerk Jarman said.To get it on the ballot, the county elections office needs to provide the measure to the state Office of General Elections by Sept. 5.In order to have that first reading on Aug. 13, Jacobson said, the committee hearing on the bill would have to be waived.Council members know where they stand on the issue, Jacobson said, noting that the issue has been at the forefront of public debate for a long time."Maybe we can skip this one meeting," Jacobson said.Another option would be for the council to adopt the petition language, approve it on the first and second reading, and send it to the mayor. If not vetoed by the mayor, it would become law, Jarman said.Note: Lawmaker wants to let residents decide fate of marijuana measure.Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald (Hilo, HI)Author: Cameron Johnson, Tribune-Herald Staff WriterPublished: Friday, July 25, 2008Copyright: 2008 Hawaii Tribune HeraldContact: letters hawaiitribune-herald.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on July 25, 2008 at 20:20:05 PT
I really appreciate every effort to move reform forward. 
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Comment #1 posted by ripit on July 25, 2008 at 20:13:11 PT:
i'd vote
to put this guy on my city council!
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