Hawaii Makes Steps Toward Marijuana Legalization
Marijuana legalization continues to make headway in state legislatures, with Hawaii’s Senate preparing to take up a bill that would legalize recreational use for people aged 21 and over.
According to the Tenth Amendment Center’s Mike Maharrey:
The legislation would legalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use, and it would allow adults to grow up to three mature plants, despite federal marijuana prohibition. Under the proposed law, the Hawaii Department of Health would craft rules for business licensing and retail sales by July 1. The agency would be tasked with creating regulations for licensing, security requirements, product labeling, health and safety regulations, advertising restrictions and the prevention of marijuana sales to minors.
On March 3, a joint meeting of the Senate Judiciary and Ways and Means committees passed SB767. Members of Ways and Means voted 8-2 to approve the measure. Members of the Judiciary Committee unanimously passed it 7-0. Previously, SB767 passed the Senate Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs Committee by a 4-1 vote.
A separate bill relating to marijuana also cleared the Judiciary Committee. Senate Bill 758 (SB758) would expand decriminalization. In January 2020, a law went into effect decriminalizing possession of three grams or less of marijuana making it similar to a traffic violation punishable by a fine of $130. SB758 would raise the threshold to 1 ounce.
Marijuana has been legalized in 15 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia, but remains illegal under federal law. However, marijuana federalism is increasingly making federal prohibition a dead letter.
Image Credit: By Chmee2 (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons