Big Isle Vote Could Lessen Marijuana Enforcement

Big Isle Vote Could Lessen Marijuana Enforcement
Posted by CN Staff on August 19, 2008 at 05:47:03 PT
By Kevin Dayton, Advertiser Big Island Bureau
Source: Honolulu Advertiser
Hilo, Hawaii -- The off-and-on political struggle over eradication and enforcement of anti-marijuana laws on the Big Island is moving to the fall election, when voters will be asked whether law enforcement officials should make busts of small-time marijuana users the county's lowest policing priority.The proposed ordinance advanced by a group called "Project Peaceful Sky"  and ordered onto the ballot by a split vote of the County Council  would also prohibit the county from accepting any further state or federal money for marijuana eradication operations.
However, County Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida said the proposed ordinance to be placed on the ballot may be unenforceable even if the voters do approve it because it apparently violates the pre-emption doctrine arising from the U.S. and Hawai'i state constitutions.That doctrine says legislative bodies such as the County Council cannot dictate to executive branch agencies such as the police and prosecutors how to run their day-to-day operations.The initiative to de-emphasize marijuana enforcement appears to do just that, Ashida said, and he will ask the state attorney general's office to rule on whether the ordinance is legal if the voters approve it.Marijuana eradication and police efforts to enforce marijuana prohibition have been perennial political issues on the Big Island, where the noise from low-flying eradication helicopters often infuriates residents in otherwise quiet rural neighborhoods.  Police Opposed Arguably, marijuana use is more accepted in some Big Island communities than it is elsewhere in the state. The Big Island has by far the largest number of legally registered medical marijuana users of any county, and has long been home base for political activists seeking legalization of marijuana for medical, religious or recreational use.Cannabis is also a significant part of the underground economy, with police seizing millions of dollars worth of marijuana plants last year alone.Police and county Prosecutor Jay Kimura oppose the proposed ordinance. Police Maj. Sam Thomas, who oversees police operations in East Hawai'i from Volcano to Hamakua, said the proposed ordinance creates "gray areas" that will hamper police officers' anti-drug efforts."There is so much gray in there, and police officers, we don't do well in gray. We need to have a lot of black and white," he said. Snipped   Complete Article: Honolulu Advertiser (HI)Author: Kevin Dayton, Advertiser Big Island Bureau Published: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 Copyright: 2008 The Honolulu AdvertiserContact: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #4 posted by OverwhelmSam on August 19, 2008 at 12:01:34 PT
HI HO, Hi Ho, It's Off To Work We Go
Great! We are witnessing the final throws of marijuana prohibition. Initiatives all over the country, police soon to be ordered to stand down on marijuana enforcement, the dismantling of the DEA and ONDCP is on the short list of things to do. I noticed that SWAT police are losing their lucrative overtime drug busts money and crying about it. WAAAAAAAA! Grow up drug warriors, you took a gamble and lost. Maybe in your next life you'll be a halfway decent human being and an actual benefit to Society, like a window washer, or a janitor, or a lawn guy.... You decide.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on August 19, 2008 at 08:33:06 PT
I agree. Life is full of gray areas. 
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Comment #2 posted by dongenero on August 19, 2008 at 07:56:30 PT
gray area is where critical thought comes in
"There is so much gray in there, and police officers, we don't do well in gray. We need to have a lot of black and white," he said.This as a really sad statement. I'm sure Police Maj. Sam Thomas doesn't even realize what he is saying. Not only is such black and white thinking a sign of clinical personality disorder, it is a sign of ignorance and stupidity if adopted willingly. What is especially sad is that Major Thomas is probably correct.
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Comment #1 posted by ekim on August 19, 2008 at 06:57:50 PT
Howard from Leap asking for info to share
Help Send Howard back to Texas: As you know, I am working hard to eliminate the need for LEAP. To that end I would like your help. Via Jerry Epstein in Texas idea, I want to begin dropping off to Member of Congress offices articles that appear in local papers that touch the issue. Please send me either electronically or cut out the article and send to me (I will play mailman). Articles should include anything that shows the financial or emotional burdens, police misconduct (drug raid on wrong house, corruption, etc) or really anything which shows that modern prohibition is the most dysfunctional, immoral policy since slavery.  When in doubt, send it please. The concept is simple. Make sure the politicians know what their constituents are reading. It is also a great excuse to drop by the office. Staffers (even those I never met) remember the hat, my business card is attached to the article and so on and so on. Howard J. Wooldridge4619 Araby Church RoadFrederick, MD 21704817-975-1110 Cellwooldridge PS. For you bean counters* I have made about 700 presentations since the fall of 2005
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