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Hawaii representatives mull legalizing marijuana

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 12:09 p.m. HST, Feb 07, 2013

A proposal to legalize marijuana in Hawaii is facing its first hurdle as the House judiciary committee decides whether to move the bill forward.

Lawmakers heard more than three hours of testimony about the measure last week but decided to postpone their decision until Thursday.

Numerous community members want to legalize the drug.

They say it's a matter of personal liberty. They say legalizing marijuana would help Hawaii's economy and allow law enforcement to focus resources on more important matters.

Law enforcement officials say they strongly oppose the bill.

They say they aren't wasting resources on marijuana now and that legalization would lead to higher crime rates.

They're also worried that legalization would pit the state against federal law regulating marijuana.

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kuroiwaj wrote:
Hey legislators, if you are concerned about revenues, pursue the approval of the South Hilo-Puna FTZ development. The end result of the South Hilo-Puna FTZ would be a development generating some $2 Billion new dollars into the State's economy each year. All this gambling and legalizing drugs to create revenue is not pono for Hawaii.
on February 7,2013 | 11:21AM
thepartyfirst wrote:
Our overwhelmingly 1 party representation will shove anything down our throats.
on February 7,2013 | 11:25AM
LizKauai wrote:
Ke ala Pono. Keep our people safe. So what is conducive to the well-being of society.
on February 7,2013 | 11:34AM
TLehel wrote:
The pros greatly outweigh the cons in this situation. What is wrong with these fools? "Law enforcement officials say they strongly oppose the bill. They say they aren't wasting resources on marijuana now and that legalization would lead to higher crime rates." HA. HA. HA. Are these guys real? First of all, any resources used on marijuana "crimes" is a waste of them. Second, crime rates would drop because people would no longer be getting busted for petty and illogical drug crimes. Like I said the pros outweigh the cons. The revenue generated from legalization would help our economy immensely. I swear, sometimes I wonder how some of these people keep their jobs with such clear incompetence.
on February 7,2013 | 11:55AM
HD36 wrote:
True and its alot easie busting a mellow marijuana user than a raging meth head tweaking out. Are the cops still watching that old info ad from the 40's called , "Reefer Madness"?
on February 7,2013 | 03:06PM
bigislandkurt wrote:
If it is legalized......and street prices are no longer applicable......how will this increase crime? It may increase the sales of liliha bakery cocopuffs or doritos. But crime? Hard to wrap my brain around that one.
on February 7,2013 | 12:03PM
PCWarrior wrote:
Hawaii needs to think out of the box. Nobody ever overdosed from taking marijuana. It has documented medicinal use. Hawaii could be turned into another Napa Valley - they grow grapes for wine and we grow marijuana for the world. Imagine what would happen if all the cops had to chase wine drinkers. They tried that and it was absolute foolishness. The legalization of this drug is coming - you shouldn't turn ordinary people into criminals because they want to smoke a doobie on the beach during their vacation.
on February 7,2013 | 12:06PM
juscasting wrote:
Wait a minute here? Hawaii is trying to pass a bill that would tax Soda to help fight OBESITY and on the other hand they are trying to pass a bill that would legalize Pakalolo.....which increases appetite...Huh..Scratching my head right now?
on February 7,2013 | 12:12PM
lee1957 wrote:
Brilliant! Tax the reefer then tax the munchies
on February 7,2013 | 05:32PM
Waokanaka wrote:
Finally, the legislature emerges from the Jurassic Period mentality that marijuana is a narcotic. Alcohol is a much worse drug, more negative effects on motor skills, causes more health problems, makes alcohol users more aggressive, and is supported by millions of $s from the alcohol lobby. Of course law enforcement officials are against pot. Because it's illegal, without a permit. Talk to a police officer off the record and they will tell you pot is more benign than alcohol. IF pot ever becomes legal, watch how many studies emerge that show pot is less harmful than alcohol, but the studies have been hidden by the inherent conflicts of interest. There is now a whole generation of pot users that are responsible, tax paying, tuition paying, mortgage paying citizens that can tell their children the truth about marijuana. Ever heard of anyone starting a fight that's stoned, ever heard about spouse abuse from a stoned parent ??? Now there probably have been many complaints of someone's ice cream being pilfered, but it's all cool. Finally, do you want your children to have a criminal record because they decided to try pot and were unlucky in the circumstances versus getting drunk and killing someone with their car because they were DUI ?? It's time to emerge from the ignorant propaganda that's been spread and funded by the alcohol lobby. Kudos to Joe Souki for being a progressive thinker.
on February 7,2013 | 12:29PM
HD36 wrote:
True and we won't have to spend millions on beaurocratic processes locking people up and pushing them through the system.
on February 7,2013 | 03:10PM
jess wrote:
Legal or not, people will use marijuana if they want. If the state decides to not legalize, the only loser is the state.
on February 7,2013 | 12:39PM
serious wrote:
You got it!!! Sell it and tax it!!!
on February 7,2013 | 05:10PM
shanik wrote:
Legalize it...don't criticize it
on February 7,2013 | 01:36PM
sanoname wrote:
people start on hemp do move up to harder drugs ,like downer. cocaine, meth etc etc How many 100 of ton is shipped out . it costing lot more than people know.hate people driving or shopping or going out stoned .and people like drug pusher thinking way to cheat on grasss tax before the law is passed. Say no to drugs
on February 7,2013 | 01:43PM
sanoname wrote:
start people on hemp and they may move up to harder drugs. do we REMEMBER the mental kid that tossed a baby over the bridge how many more drug involved killing. cover it up grass won't hurt..
on February 7,2013 | 01:47PM
HD36 wrote:
Sugar is a drug, that causes hyperactivity, which causes aggression, which could be argued leads people to harder drugs. Just ask any hard core meth addict if he's ever ingested sugar before.
on February 7,2013 | 03:12PM
TLehel wrote:
Marijuana isn't really a gateway drug, because most people who smoke it are satisfied enough by it alone. Weed is the anti do bad things drug. It's extremely non-violent and people on it would be way too paranoid to do serious illegal activities. The only thing I worry about is weed costing way more than it should once the law passes. People may not want to go through a dispensary if it costs too much, which means that they'll continue to go through private sellers, that will still be considered illegal.
on February 7,2013 | 03:13PM
FluidMotion wrote:
First, most people begin their "drug" experience with alcohol. Second, they nsane guy who threw the kid off the bridge was on meth. Third, learn a little about marijuana before you spew tired rhetoric.
on February 7,2013 | 08:01PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
No, law enforcement does not want to lose the millions and millions of dollars appropriated each year to fight marijuana. And, of course, they are not wasting resources on marijuana right now because it is going to them. And how is it going to increase crime rate? Just look to the other states that have legalized it and you will find the answer. According to those who have used marijuana it leads to a sense of well being, not a sense of aggression like when one uses alcohol. So how is that supposed to cause more crimes? If anything, it can reduce crime rates as people will have ready access to it rather than having to deal with criminals who sell it. If it were legal, these drug dealers would be put out of a job because it would be readily available at the drugstore where it can be regulated and taxed.
on February 7,2013 | 02:02PM
niimi wrote:
Well, Hawaii isn't really as progressive as we try to make ourselves out to be. We're really conservative in some areas such as legalizing marijuana and gambling.
on February 7,2013 | 02:25PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Legalize it! I don't care because I'm too smart to use it. If Hawaii can make money off it through taxes, so be it. It will surely draw lots more tourists here. Just don't let the City or State dimwits regulate it because they will surely mess it up.
on February 7,2013 | 07:55PM
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