Hawaii panel votes to reduce penalties for marijuana

HONOLULU — A key Hawaii legislative panel has passed a bill that would reduce penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

The measure adopted by the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Friday says possession of 3 grams or less of marijuana would be a petty misdemeanor punishable by a $30 fine. Three grams is equivalent to one-tenth of an ounce.

The bill would purge criminal records of those convicted of possessing 3 grams or less if no other criminal charge is associated with the record.

Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii Executive Director Carl Bergquist hopes the bill will be amended to decriminalize larger amounts. He says such a low threshold would still prompt arrests and make the bill ineffective.

The measure now goes to the full Senate.

  1. truth be known April 8, 2019 8:56 am Reply

    Good grief! Our Kauai Police Department is already understaffed and over worked and now they want them to go around handing out what amounts to a traffic ticket for possession of a joint. Really?? Let’s focus on the big issues like crack, meth amphetamine, heroin and cocaine and forget the marijuana usage BS. Legalization of marijuana is inevitable. Legislating morality has never worked in the past; alcohol prohibition being the best example. The big money people are just biding their time till they can control the sale and distribution of marijuana and make lots of $$$$$. It’s always about the money.

  2. numilalocal April 8, 2019 10:55 am Reply

    This incremental progress towards full legalization of pakalolo is both frustrating and amusing. Frustrating because legalization is coming and amusing because all the already-rich folks are cashing in on marijuana. When the state figures out how much tax revenue can be made, full legalization will occur. I refer you to ex-member of congress John Boehner, who’s now promoting the investment opportunities in the marijuana ‘industry.’

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