Legal marijuana says Aloha Hawai'i

Tropical paradise just got a little better, the state Senate just approved recreational cannabis.

Hawaii is one of the smallest states and ranks 39th with 1.4 million residents. Two thirds live on Oahu. Tourism is the island's lifeblood, with 932,713 visitors in 2023. In the first quarter of this year, visitor spending was $2.11 billion, up from $1.78 billion (+18.5%) last year. Thanks to their statehouse, Aloha Hawai'i now says legal marijuana.

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The rise of marijuana was fueled by the burgeoning jazz scene in the 1930s and '40s, which coincided with the rise of surfing in the '50s. Hawaii is becoming a mecca for waves, music and sun… and maybe something else. Now Hawaii enshrines them all in law. Rough. 58% of Hawaii residents support “legalizing marijuana to allow the possession, production, and sale of marijuana by and to adults, and elected officials have gotten the message!”

Photo by taengbum via Pixabay

The Hawaii State Senate has passed a bill that would legalize and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older, with an additional focus on public safety. The bill now heads to the Hawaii House of Representatives for consideration.

Before the bill reached the Senate floor, it was approved by four committees. During the committee process, amendments were adopted including the addition of anti-discrimination provisions that would prevent child abduction due to cannabis, prevent revocation of probation/parole sentences, and prevent denial of government benefits and entitlements; and to provide for expungement and resentencing.

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The Hawaii Alliance for Cannabis Reform is very optimistic that it will pass the House of Representatives and be signed by the Governor.

Nikos Leverenz of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawai'i and the Hawai'i Health and Harm Reduction Center shared, “Although this is an imperfect bill that still contains far too many elements of criminalization, it is welcome news that it There is a viable adult use.” Legalization bill that may be improved if it reaches the House of Representatives. The Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii and other members of the Hawaii Alliance for Cannabis Reform hope that our proposed changes will be considered by the House Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee. It will also be important for reform advocates to engage skeptical members of the House of Representatives, including many freshman lawmakers who have placed far too much stock in the monotonous, unfactual rhetoric of the criminal justice lobby.”

Things are slower in Hawaii because the population tends to be stable and few people move to or from the island. They are very relationship-oriented and achieving something like this takes time and great effort.

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