Pot Proposals Deserve Serious Attention

Pot Proposals Deserve Serious Attention
Posted by CN Staff on February 19, 2008 at 12:19:11 PT
By Paul Armentano
Source: Hawaii Reporter
Hawaii -- Expect a number of state lawmakers to get up front and personal with pot this year. Nearly a dozen marijuana reform bills are pending before legislators in 2008. Several of them merit serious consideration.House Bill 2067: HB 2067 and its companion bill in the Senate (SB 2547) seek to enact necessary legal protections for qualified patients using medical cannabis in accordance with state law. 
Specifically, this bill would amend existing limits regarding the amount of cannabis patients may legally possess and grow, prevent employers and landlords from discriminating against medical cannabis patients, and impose legal liability on law enforcement officials who improperly seize cannabis from state-authorized patients. These changes have been requested by Hawaii's patient community to address their legitimate needs and maintain compliance with state and local laws. Passage of HB 2067 will protect patients, better clarify relations between the patient and law enforcement communities, and will increase the participation of physicians in Hawaii's medical marijuana program.House Bill 2673: HB 2673 seeks to protect those medical marijuana patients in the public workforce who may be subjected to random (non-performance based) drug testing. Under current law, state-authorized patients may be penalized or even terminated by their employer for their off-the-job use of medical cannabis. Passage of HB 2673 would grant these patients the same legal protections already afforded to employees prescribed other prescription medications -- including oral THC (aka Marinol) -- and would not jeopardize on-the-job safety or performance.House Bill 2677: HB 2677 seeks to limit the criminal prosecution of adults who possess small amounts of cannabis in the privacy of their own home. Specifically, this bill would encourage local police to establish a policy that sets private adult marijuana offenses as the "lowest priority for investigation, citation, and arrest." (Offenses that involve distributing marijuana to minors, distributing or consuming marijuana in public places, or operating a motor vehicle, airplane, or watercraft while under the influence of pot would continue to be prosecuted under the fullest extent of the law.) Similar 'deprioritization' policies have been enacted in several metropolitan areas -- including Oakland, California and Seattle, Washington -- and the results have been overwhelmingly positive.For instance, according to a just-released report by the city of Seattle, passage of the city's 'deprioritization' law has not led to any "evident increase in marijuana use among youth and young adults; no evident increase in crime; and no adverse impact on public health." Additionally, the report cites numerous societal benefits stemming from the new law, including "fewer adults experiencing the consequences of involvement in the criminal justice system due to their personal use of marijuana; and a ... reduction in the amount of public safety resources dedicated to marijuana possession cases and a corresponding ... increase in availability of these resources for other public safety priorities. Passage of HB 2677 would arguably result in similar fiscal and societal benefits for Hawaii without endangering public safety.For more information on these and other pending marijuana law reform measures, please visit NORML's "Take Action" center at: or visit the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii at: http://www.dpfhi.orgPaul Armentano is the Deputy Director for NORML and the NORML Foundation in Washington, DC. He may be contact via e-mail at:  paul norml.orgComplete Title: Pot Proposals Deserve Serious Attention From Hawaii LawmakersSource: Hawaii Reporter (HI)Author: Paul ArmentanoPublished: February 19, 2008Copyright: 2008 Hawaii Reporter, Inc.Contact: Malia Website: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on February 19, 2008 at 13:14:54 PT
It's nice to see you. That article is good news. Thank you.
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Comment #1 posted by duzt on February 19, 2008 at 13:09:49 PT
not related but an interesting article anyway...
saw this in the mountain democrat. Good to see juries doing a good job. This area is generally pretty hard on growers so this is good news.
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