|Photo: J. Kalani English|
|Sen. Kalani English: “I took this up because I saw people who were suffering”|
The latest attempt to set up a medical marijuana dispensary system in Hawaii — more than a decade after the state legalized cannabis for medicinal use — was snuffed out in committee this week on Oahu.
East Maui Sen. Kalani English had said the bill had a “really good chance of passing,” pointing out that it would generate needed revenue and give patients safe access to medicine, reports Jacob Shafer at Maui Time.
“I took this up because I saw people who were suffering, sometimes in the last months of their life,” English said.
Medical marijuana has been legal since 2000 in Hawaii, with an act removing state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation by patients who have a signed statement from their physician affirming they suffer from a debilitating condition and that the “potential benefits of medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks.”
Senate Bill 1458 would have created a limited, five-year pilot program for medical marijuana dispensaries providing safe access to authorized patients. The proposal would have started the dispensary program in an unspecified county of Hawaii.
Surprise surprise — Hawaii legislators managed to screw it up.
One of the sticking points, according to AP, was whether the proposed dispensaries would sell to all eligible medical marijuana patients, or only those with “serious ailments” like cancer and AIDS — with the obvious and nasty implication being that other patients “aren’t really sick.”