by Peter Sur, Stephens Media
HILO - Several bills that would amend Hawaii's medical marijuana law, and one that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of the drug, are moving through the state Legislature.
Reps. Faye Hanohano, D-Puna, and Mark Nakashima, D-Kohala, Hamakua, Hilo, have both supported the bills in the House Public Safety Committee. They now await action in the House Judiciary Committee.
The bills are:
- House Bill 1635, which would strengthen the record-keeping procedures for physicians who prescribe marijuana for medical uses;
- House Bill 226, which would allow qualifying patients to possess up to 12 marijuana plants and seven ounces of usable marijuana;
- House Bill 1191, which creates a medical marijuana distribution stamp system and allows for a secure growing facility to grow marijuana for no more than 14 qualifying patients; and
- House Bill 1192, which makes the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a civil offense, subject to a $100 fine.
"In the economy we are in right now, we don't have the resources to keep people in prison," Hanohano said. "This is one way, to me, to look at it."
In addition to a civil fine, those under 18 years of age would also be required to complete a drug awareness program.