Hawaii makes it on the list of states to consider cannabis legislation this year

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Hawaii could be ready to reverse a number of decisions in 2023

It seems that Hawaii is one of those states in the country looking to reform several different laws this year. First, lawmakers have indicated intentions to bring a sports betting market to life, and now recreational cannabis has also been put on the agenda. 2023 looks to be quite a different year for the Aloha State, and should its legislation come to fruition, many residents will be pleased.

A local government-led task force presented a recent report on the legalization of recreational adult-use cannabis. While it makes it clear that it is neither against nor for change in Hawaii, it has begun a concerted effort to get the Legislature to do so this year. Many of the plant’s advocates are confident about the prospects of advancing marijuana legalization in the new session.

The new year seems to be living with renewed grounds for optimism for this movement as different voters elected a governor and lieutenant governor in favor of legalization during the election two months ago. With this strong support, lawmakers appear not to be during in unveiling a reform bill after officials finalized recommendations for legalization as part of a task force.

Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), ACLU of Hawaii and Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii are among the representatives of major advocacy organizations. Many of them said at the midweek briefing that they are preparing for an active session, hoping to also pass legislation to facilitate automatic registration, cleanup and resentencing. Rep. Jeanné Kapela also joined the effort, making it clear that the state is on the precipice of history this year.

“We now have a roadmap to legalize recreational cannabis in our islands,” she said. “Cannabis legalization is not just a matter of money; it’s a matter of morality.”