House committee kills Hawaii legalization bill


One of Hawaii’s potential legalization bills died in committee yesterday. Hawaii House Judiciary Chairman Karl Rhoads said that he killed House Bill 699 after finding that there was not enough support to get the bill through.

If passed, it would have allowed for adults over 21 to grow up to five plants and possess up to two ounces of dried herb. The program would have also set up a state-run recreational cannabis industry, allowing people over 21 to run cannabis retail stores.

Rep. Joseph Souki

Rhoads assertion that there wasn’t enough support in Hawaii for such marijuana laws seems a bit off considering there’s at least ten other marijuana-related bills before the state legislature this year and there is still a good chance that a number of those bills could pass. It’s also worth noting that that recent polls show as many as 57 percent of Hawaiians believe in legalizing and regulating small amounts of cannabis. Only 40 percent polled preferred that they keep it illegal.
So fear not, Hawaii. The fat, stoned lady hasn’t sung this legislative session. At least not yet. Currently there is at least one other marijuana-related bill before the state legislature. Senate Bill 472 would make possession of up to an ounce of marijuana a civil fine, with a fine of up to $1,000.
For more information on the specific bills, visit the Hawaii State Legislature site.
Possession of an ounce or less in Hawaii is currently a misdemeanor charge with up to thirty days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. Paraphernalia possession is a felony, with a punishment of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Medical marijuana patients are allowed to cultivate up to seven marijuana plants (only three can be in flower) and possess up to three ounces at a time.