No Surprise: Maui Cops Oppose Marijuana Law Reform


Photo: Maui News
Maui Police Chief Gary Yabuta: “We feel that [marijuana]will be contradictory to character building, job skills, academics, all the skills necessary to become a productive citizen”

​Ever heard a cop say “we don’t write the laws, we just enforce them?” Next time you hear it, you have my permission to say “Bullshit!”

Responding to bills in the Hawaii Legislature intended to liberalize marijuana laws, Maui Police Chief Gary Yabuta said the department is taking a more “proactive stance” to show the public its opposition to marijuana by reaching out to Maui residents at public places, reports Melissa Tanji at Maui News.
On Monday, police officers went to Walmart to hand out pamphlets telling cop-sponsored lies about what “experts” supposedly say regarding marijuana as medicine and pot’s health risks. They planned to be there telling more ridiculous cop lies on Tuesday.
The goal of the effort, according to the cops, is to “gather the public’s support” this legislative session and ask people to submit email testimony against the bills which would liberalize Hawaii’s marijuana laws.
Yabuta helpfully said the police “would be glad” to pass out their lying-ass brochures or even present lying-ass talks to the public at community events and at schools.
Officer Yabuta claimed he didn’t know the taxpayer cost of the brochures that are being passed out, but defensively said they were “nothing fancy.” He claimed that funding came partly from a grant that initiated the brochure (your wasted tax money), as well as “county funds” (more of your wasted tax money, spent telling ridiculous, outdated 20th Century cop lies and superstitions about cannabis).

“It’s something that we feel is an important message for the public to know from what we believe is the reality of marijuana, that if we continue to have an attempt to lax the marijuana law, we are going to be advocating the wrong message to the youth that it’s socially OK to use marijuana,” Officer Yabuta said.
Of course, it wouldn’t do to give them that message would it? Far better that we should give them the message that it’s OK for public officials to lie their miserable asses off about something as innocuous as cannabis, all the while feeding like a hungry little piggy upon the endless largesse of the public tax trough.
“We feel that it will be contradictory to character building, job skills, academics, all the skills necessary to become a productive citizen,” Yabuta lied on Monday.

Photo: House Democratic Caucus
Joe Bertram III: “It’s a medicine. It has been used and abused like any other medicine.”

​Medical marijuana advocate and former state legislator Joe Bertram III said he understood why Maui police officers would go to public places to rally the public against changing Hawaii’s marijuana laws.
But, he said, he doesn’t believe marijuana is a gateway drug, as some opponents claim.
“It’s a medicine,” Bertram said. “It has been used and abused like any other medicine.”
Bertram said what needs to be done is to control and tax marijuana.
In a press release, the Maui Police Department said it was throwing its support behind a bill that would “clarify” the state’s medical marijuana law, as well as increase penalties for a fradulent medical marijuana application to a Class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. Currently, fraudulent medical marijuana applications result in a petty misdemeanor, carrying a penalty of up to 30 days in jail.
But according to House of Representatives staff in Honolulu, the measure backed by cops, House Bill 1169, will likely not move forward, since it hasn’t been heard in any of the three committees to which it has been referred. Speaker of the House Calvin Say had set a deadline of last Thursday for bills referred to three committees to be heard in at least one committee.
The police department is voicing opposition to two Senate bills, one, SB 58, which would increase the amount of medical marijuana that patients are allowed to possess; and the other, AB 175, which would transfer the jurisdiction of Hawaii’s medical marijuana laws from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health.
Bertram said he was in favor of both bills, which were heard and passed with amendments in at least one Senate committee each. As a caregiver for a patient who uses medical marijuana, he said it is important to have additional marijuana on hand, since cannabis isn’t like a pill that can be picked up at a drugstore or ordered. “It takes time to cultivate,” Bertram said.
He also said that moving medical marijuana laws to DOH has been an ongoing drive in the interest of making medicinal cannabis use a rational and compassionate medical treatment, as he believes it should have been from the beginning.
The lying-ass police pamphlet quotes federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration saying that “smoked marijuana has no currently accepted or proven medical use in the United States and is not an approved medical treatment.”
It also claims the American Medical Association “discourages medical marijuana use” and that cannabis is a “dangerous drug.”