Hilo, HI: Hawaii County Council members unanimously voted last week to reject more than one-half million dollars in federal grant money earmarked to pay for helicopter-based marijuana eradication efforts.
Council members elected to remove the funding from the county’s 2007-2008 budget, noting that the 30-year-old "Green Harvest" program – which utilizes low-flying helicopters to search for outdoor marijuana gardens – had elicited numerous complaints from Big Island citizens. Prior to the vote, nearly 70 members of the public told the Council that the aerial-based program upsets their livestock, disrupts local wildlife, and is highly disruptive to residents’ quality of life.
The Council had previously rejected funding for the program in 2000, but elected to resume funding in 2001.
Despite last week’s vote, police administrators are still expected to ask the Council for permission to accept the federal funding later this year.
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500.