Jeanné Kapela, a Hawaii state representative, announced a plan to legalize cannabis for adults at a press conference.
“We all know, and Hawaiians know too, that it’s high time to legalize the recreational use of cannabis for adults in Hawaii,” – she explained.
“Following the recommendations of the Cannabis Policy Task Force, we now have an action plan to legalize recreational marijuana in our islands.” – Kapela said, referring to a report released in December 2022 by a task force from the Hawaii Department of Health.
Kapela did not detail a timeline for the bill’s introduction, but explained several key points, including a program to clean up criminal records for people who had criminal convictions for possessing small amounts of cannabis.
“Social justice is what is at the core of our proposal,” she said.
Read more about the legalization of cannabis in Hawaii with the Hemp.im mobile app. Available fro free, the app organizes what’s happening in the cannabis world to help you learn more about the stories that matter to you. Stay informed with the latest hemp news and get the important information in one application.
Cannabis-related law reforms in Hawaii
In March 2021, Hawaii’s Senate approved two cannabis reform bills that ultimately failed to pass.
Hawaii’s former governor, David Ige, was not a big fan of cannabis legalization and often expressed his views on the subject. However, in January 2020, he signed a bill that decriminalized the possession of up to 3g of cannabis for personal use.
Meanwhile, a Hawaii Senate committee approved a bill last year that would make people 65 and older automatically eligible for medical cannabis treatment, regardless of whether they have been diagnosed with a condition that would qualify for cannabis treatment. This law has not yet been finally passed.
Hawaii’s new governor in favor of legalizing cannabis
There are new reasons for optimism in the new year, as voters in Hawaii elected a pro-legalization governor and vice governor in the November elections. Newly elected Governor Josh Green said in November 2022 that he would sign a bill legalizing cannabis for adults.
Nikos Leverenz of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii said the legislation to be introduced is “an important opportunity for lawmakers to repair the significant damage that decades of cannabis prohibition have done to Native Hawaiian communities.”
“At the same time, a properly regulated market for adult-use cannabis products will create many high-quality jobs and business opportunities throughout the state, including those related to cannabis tourism, craft cannabis, and cannabis science.”
State lawmakers have been working separately on modest legislative reforms regarding psychedelics. A House of Representatives committee approved a resolution passed by the Senate that would have the state create a psilocybin task force to study the therapeutic potential of the substance found in mushrooms, but the bill also stalled.
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First published in Fakty Konopne, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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