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Bill to legalize pakalolo dies but bill to decriminalize lives

By Sam Eifling


A bill to legalize recreational marijuana in Hawaii died in committee Thursday, but state lawmakers advanced a measure that could decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of the drug.

"Washington and Colorado have taken the big leap, and everybody is looking at these two states to see how they will be dealing with all of the issues that come up," said Sen. Will Espero (D, Ewa Beach-Iroquois Point), chairman of the Senate Public Safety Committee. "At this time the legalization bill is dead."

That pronouncement followed written and spoken testimony from dozens of interest groups and private citizens on both sides.

Police and prosecutors argued against both proposed measures. They said legal marijuana would entice kids, result in more addiction and put Hawaii at odds with federal drug laws.

Supporters of the measures argued that prohibition leads to widespread incarceration, squanders public resources and fuels a black market.

During the committee hearing, opposition to mere decriminalization was notably softer than on legalization. Sixteen states have decriminalized nonmedical marijuana. Under the Hawaii decriminalization bill, getting caught with up to an ounce would result in a $100 fine on first offense.

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Kalaheo1 wrote:
"Police and prosecutors argued against both proposed measures"

Historically, when asked about marijuana laws, police and prosecutors make a sad face and say they are only following the law. But when it comes time to change the law, suddenly they are adamant about keeping it illegal and arresting and ruining the lives of users despite a mountain of evidence that it is largely harmless.

Like marriage equality, Hawaii will be years behind the other states in this one too, and will continue to waste police resources on the expensive helicopter rides with the infamous "Green Harvest" as methamphetamine production and sales go unchecked and continue to destroy lives and families.

on February 14,2014 | 03:43AM
hapaguy wrote:
Hear! Hear! Once again Kalaheo1 is the voice of common sense and reason....
on February 14,2014 | 03:01PM
HD36 wrote:
Job secuirty for well paid government workers doing routine work against non violent crime. Their still clinging to that old war on marijuana commercial , "Reefer Madness" and the gateway drug theory.
on February 14,2014 | 10:11PM
ehrhornp wrote:
Its a real shame that Hawaii is a victim of the prison industrial complex. I no longer have any respect for the police or prosecutors. I urge everyone to write their representatives urging the cutting of their funding. These people are nothing but parasites.
on February 14,2014 | 04:50AM
HD36 wrote:
John Mizuno where are you?
on February 14,2014 | 10:12PM
Bdpapa wrote:
$100 Fine with an ounce or less, I find this reasonable.
on February 14,2014 | 05:52AM
wondermn1 wrote:
WE ARE GOVERNED BY I-D-I-O-T-S They just want the federal money to put people in cages and ruin the lives of innocent people.
on February 14,2014 | 07:07AM
Bdpapa wrote:
They wouldn't be doing time if they were innocent! Whether you agree with this law or not, it is what we are dealing with.
on February 14,2014 | 02:00PM
ehrhornp wrote:
All they were doing was using a plant that was given to us by God on the third day of creation. To lock people up for pot is the devils work.
on February 14,2014 | 03:57PM
HD36 wrote:
That's what they said a hundred years ago if they hung a black man for dating a white women
on February 14,2014 | 10:13PM
mcc wrote:
Police and prosecutors argued against both proposed measures. They said legal marijuana would entice kids, result in more addiction and put Hawaii at odds with federal drug The Police smoke it themselves. Remember the two local police that ran from the police. in Las Vegas when they were smoking in the parking lot? Convicted and reinstated. Still smoking and protecting you. Bunch of hypocrites.
on February 14,2014 | 07:33AM
Slow wrote:
The self-serving cops and prosecutors testify that legalization will "entice kids" and lead to "more addiction." What does "entice kids" mean? Is it like ads for candy? For toys? For Fernandez Fun Factory? As for increased addiction, aren't these buffoons embarrassed to trot out this silly and refuted argument? Simply untrue. But a friend here in Puna was raided by a team flying in on a helicopter. A gentle and slightly addled Viet Nam vet and his handicapped daughter were told they were growing 101 plants and that over 100 is a felony. Thank you police. You have spent a lot of time and money protecting me. From what?
on February 14,2014 | 07:55AM
loquaciousone wrote:
There is a reason why we call MJ baka lolo in Hawaii.
on February 14,2014 | 09:06AM
ya_think wrote:
So they want to say it's ok to smoke dope but not e-cigs???????
on February 14,2014 | 09:38AM
entrkn wrote:
Hawaii's lawmakers have never been known for enlightenment or courage...
on February 14,2014 | 09:53AM
LadyNinja wrote:
Stupid move by law enforcement and others. Legalizing marijuana is one way to get people off the streets and into their homes for use. It can also add $ to our financially strapped state, much like getting a lottery or allow gambling.. Where do our senators live, in the dark house? Do you guys walk around with blindfolds? There's a house on Skyline Drive where a guy openly smokes marijuana, right next to HPD.............and he walks away doing nothing. Common, why not?
on February 14,2014 | 02:25PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Light it up!
on February 14,2014 | 04:53PM
boshio wrote:
Decriminalize 1 oz pakalolo use? How about decriminalize gambling, its cleaner, no smoke and a money maker for the state. Oh, and the city should legalize a lottery, loads of added income, this way Caldwell does't have to lie that trash pickup was always a free service.
on February 15,2014 | 06:51AM