With a 12-plus year fed-defying track record with its medical marijuana program, the Hawaii legislature will consider the next step during the 2013 legislative session – full legalization of pot for recreational use.
House Speaker Rep. Joseph Souki and Rep. Scott Saiki introduced HB150 on Jan. 18. The bill description summarized the legislation.
Authorizes persons 21 years of age or older to consume or possess limited amounts of marijuana for personal use. Provides for the licensing of marijuana cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, safety testing facilities, and retail stores. Requires the counties to provide for licensing of marijuana facilities if the State fails to do so. Authorizes the counties to regulate or prohibit marijuana facilities within their boundaries.
The legislation completely ignores federal prohibitions on marijuana and the Supreme Court ruling empowering the feds to regulate it, effectively nullifying the unconstitutional federal act.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the following acts shall be lawful and shall not be a basis for seizure or forfeiture of assets for persons twenty—one years of age or older…
These legalized acts include possessing, transporting, growing and consuming less than one ounce of marijuana.
A companion bill in the Senate, SB738, was introduced at the same time by Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz and garnered eight cosponsors. Senate supporters told the Associated Press legalization was “natural, logical and reasonable.”
“Issues like this were meant to be dealt with at the state level. Why should some politician thousands of miles away across the Pacific Ocean dictate Hawaii’s marijuana policy? He shouldn’t. And if the Hawaii legislature has the fortitude to follow through with this measure, he won’t,” Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey said.
Maharrey went on to point out that the push to legalize weed in Hawaii and a similar measure under consideration in New Hampshire, along with medical marijuana bills pending in several states, indicate the broad scope and bipartisan nature of the nullification movement in the U.S.
“If you listen to the media pundits, you will come away thinking that nullification is just something for bitter, anti-Obama Republicans. But this marijuana bill in Hawaii, and many like it across the U.S., prove that people of every political stripe embrace nullification when it fits their agenda. It’s not about the president, and it’s not some conservative plot to undermine him. It’s about limiting federal government to its constitutionally prescribed role,” he said. “I just wish we could get the left to recognize that resisting an unconstitutional drug war rests on the same foundation as resisting an unconstitutional health care plan, or gun grab and vice versa.”
HB150 was referred to the Judiciary, Finance and Health Committees.
If you live in Hawaii, contact your representatives and encourage them to support HB150. You can find legislator contact information HERE for the House and HERE for the Senate. You can find House committee information HERE.
If you don’t live in Hawaii, you can track marijuana legislation across the U.S. and find model legislation to introduce in your state HERE.