Hawaii passed on an opportunity to legalize marijuana last year, but a new effort has arrived
Hawaii is a state considered by many as a tourist destination par excellence. Unfortunately for many cannabis enthusiasts, the plant is still not legal under its regulatory framework. However, that may change this year as lawmakers have gotten to work on the issue now that the new session has begun. These officials officially unveiled leu bills seeking to legalize cannabis late last week and optimism is quite high.
Now that the first month of the year is coming to a close, Hawaii lawmakers have wasted no more time regarding cannabis regulation under their jurisdiction. What makes optimism quite high is that the Aloha State’s new governor has shown his faithful commitment to supporting the measure that makes it to his desk.
Senator Chris Lee and Representative Jeanné Kapela are the sponsors of the companion legislation in their respective chambers, with the support of a dozen initial registered co-sponsors in all. A statewide task force developed certain recommendations last year, which were used to create these new proposals.
A press conference was held last week with representatives from major advocacy organizations, including the ACLU of Hawaii, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), and the Hawaii Drug Policy Forum. Kapela used the space to talk about his plans to introduce legislation. “We now have a roadmap to legalize recreational cannabis in our islands,” he said. “Cannabis legalization is not just a matter of money; it’s a matter of morality.”
The legalization proposal will feature some key provisions. For example, adults over the age of 21 will be able to grow up to ten plants in an enclosed area and possess up to four ounces of marijuana. In addition, individuals would have access to purchase up to four ounces from licensed retailers every 15 days, and adults could give away cannabis without remuneration.