Hawaii Joins Four Other States Considering Marijuana Legalization Measures

Representative Joseph Souki, Chair of the Hawaiian House Committee on Transportation and House Speaker Emeritus, has introduced legislation that would make Hawaii the third state to legalize and regulate the adult use of marijuana.

House Bill 150 would legalize the possession of up to an ounce or less of marijuana by adults over the age of 21, in addition to allowing for the licensing and regulation of marijuana retail stores, as well as cultivation and manufacturing centers.

Polling conducted this month by the ACLU of Hawaii found that 57% of Hawaiians support taxing and regulating marijuana and only 39% were opposed.

Hawaii now joins Maine, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont on the list of states with pending legislation to legalize the adult use of marijuana, with more expected to join them in the coming weeks. It is no longer a question of if these states will join Colorado and Washington in adopting new and sensible marijuana laws, but which one will do it first. Perhaps, in honor of the Choom Gang, President Obama’s birth state of Hawaii will lead the charge.

It is extremely important your elected officials hear from you in support of these measures. You can find out if your state is currently considering marijuana law reform legislation and easily send a pre-written letter of support to your elected officials by using NORML’s Take Action Center here. If you live in one of the five states (Hawaii, Maine, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont) considering the legalization of marijuana for all adults, you can click on the appropriate link below and go directly to your state’s action alert.

Tell Your Elected Officials to Support Marijuana Legalization!

Rhode Island

58 thoughts

  1. PENNSYLVANIA?! Damn, I thought that would be the last state to want to legalize. Grew up there… Go PA!

  2. If these are truly attempts to legalize and regulate marijuana like alcohol and tobacco, why limit possession to one ounce or less? There are no such limits on alcohol and tobacco, and those much more dangerous substances are available at every corner market.

    Why not craft laws that begin with the assumption that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol and tobacco, and let the proposed regulatory system reflect that fact?

  3. Here’s to hoping that Hawaii makes it into the list of states that legalize! Hell, I hope you’re all there soon enough. I decided to write some words of my own to include in my message to my officials and I want to allow anyone else who feels inclined to check it out and comment upon it. Feel free to use it in its entirety, or simply take bits and pieces from it!


  4. Yeah. I hope all states legalized marijuana for adult personal use. Come on Georgia…get with the program & change marijuana laws!!! The state can make some mad $ and the adults can get a legal buzz.

  5. Finally soon I might be able to get some decent weed instead of dried up shake doled out by dishonest sketchball dealers who keep the top buds for themselves

  6. The Pennsylvania bill simply will not move forward. Republicans control the legislature and the executive branch. Just as Pat Vance had a lip service hearing for the medical marijuana bill introduced and under Republican pressure just let it die and did nothing else to advance it, that’s how it will be for outright legalization in Pennsylvania. Dr. G. Terry Madonna is the political pollster guru in the central part of the state. While the wealthy Philadelphia and Pittsburgh suburbs who are democratic may want this to move forward, it won’t. Governor Tom Corbett used to be the Attorney General, and he’s a Republican who bills himself as Mr. Law and Order, except when it comes to getting down to a hardline investigation of what happened to District Attorney Ray Gricar of Centre County who was investigating the Jerry Sandusky child molestation case. Gricar just up and disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

    I just don’t see it happening, although the state is hurting badly for cash for its coffers so bad that the Republicans have gutted funding for public education, have sold the state lottery to Camelot (a British company), want to privatize the state liquor store system, want to go after school and public employee state pensions, had to raise taxes on gas stations for the infrastructure, yet gave Shell a $billion tax break to build a Marcellus Shale natural gas processing facility by Pittsburgh. Shell and Camelot are indebted to the governor, must be something in the works for the revolving door after he’s out of office. And, Corbett wants to run for a second term.

    Fat chance, Pennsylvania.

  7. I foresee it happening in those states EXCEPT… PA won’t do it. Just too much of a prison lobby here. This is bullshit PA! Come on Philly and Pittsburgh work out a city ballot initiative to repeal all penalties up to an oz ,if we go about it city by city instead of statewide, we could definitely force at the very least statewide decriminalization… and i mean by November. These Norml chapters need to take an approach like detroit and soon the Red-T (Rural PA) will fall. Baby steps for PA because there are so many greedy politicians here.

  8. i think all the states in the U.S.A should be fully legal tax and sold in P.C.T stores just like alcohol with a 21 year age limits and the high grade left in the medical community for the pain re leaf it has and there is a big difference in potency and specifically grow plants for different needs not just to catch a good buzz so the full legalization of pot and hemp for all it uses and jobs it would create

  9. obama was born in hawaii…… my ass.
    come on everyone wakeup we can no longer trust a federal government to protect our rights when it no longer cares about them in the first place.

  10. The ounce limit is just to compromise with some of the prohibitionists/alarmists. Vote getting sucks, but we kind of need all we can get.

  11. Let’s keep it going people be heard.. West Virginia is pushing for decriminalization and we’ll take it!!!

  12. Never smoked marijuana in my life, but hope they legalize it. Sick of the debate, and sick of my tax dollars being spent on prosecuting harmless pot heads.

  13. Were did the word Pot and/or Pothead come from?Anyone know? Its derogatory word for me…..The government or whoever is running this world has lied to us so much…. especially on this plant…..my patients are mostly older folks…. they call me Mr Green….and I’m a lot younger than they are…..it relieves so many problems medically….if your not into cannabis that’s kool…..but if you get sick…. everyone does now and then…..I would want every available resource that I could get…..I would study up on the medical marijuana first….I think a guy would find out why they have lied to us all these years…..thank you….Big Willy….not Mr.Pothead

  14. i want to start a new campaign and movement to let the people vote! tell a few basic truths and common lies about it ad really work on campaigning to let all the people vote to either leave the laws change the laws to allow medicinal everywhere or to just legalize it everywhere. let everyone vote and see what the people really want. isnt that democracy and our freedom. if laws are their to protect us then simply put what is the marijuana law protecting anyone from?

  15. Come on you guys! Give your Reps and Senators a call. I wish my state was one of those five. I call up my Reps and Sens. about once every 3-4 months just to give my opinion on matters–but if MJ was the issue, I’d call ’em tomorrow. (I have called them about legalizing MJ, btw.)

  16. To Tesha: We appreciate you eagerness to get your state on board, but patience and persistence is the best things right now. I want the same thing here in TN, but things move slowly in the Bible belt. Responsible use, and education for the little ones is paramount. I hate throwing out the cliche’, but think about the children—they need information that will get it in their heads that reefer is relatively safe, but can have a negative effect on their developing minds. Stay motivated my fellow reform brothers and sisters. We are closer that ever to putting a fork in this pot-hating turkey!

  17. Any initiative towards legalization is going to be ultimately positive. But timing will be everything. When will states be voting on this again?

  18. sounds like a good idea anonymous, we also to start a movement liker marching down pennsylvania ave and do it everyday until the government finally gives in.

  19. @Bradson #4
    There was a limit on how much alcohol you can possess but most states have removed that limit over time. In Arkansas we had a limit of how much alcohol you can possess until just a few years ago. We will probably see the same thing with marijuana. You can’t expect the laws to be perfect right off the bat after all this is the government we are talking about. The best you can hope for is that over time these laws will be refined and limits will be removed. Just because the laws are not perfect doesn’t mean you shouldn’t support them anything is better than full prohibition.

  20. Kola, marijuana is affectionately called pot, herb, trees, kush, dour, bali, grass, cheeba, ganja, bud(s) or nugs, mary j or mary jane, and many more. Many of these names are regional and will sound odd to folks not familiar with ’em.

    People that hate marijuana call it poison, dope, reefer, loco weed, devil weed and more.

  21. I live in Vermont and would love to see cannabis legal but…. his name is Shap Smith. Last year Smith would not even let a discussion on decriminalization take place, let alone having a vote on the subject.As Pres. of the house he decides what will be taking up in session. He is a long time opponent of cannabis, and I dont see him changing in the near future. We who live in Vermont want the current laws changed but our elected officials refuse to do the will of the people. Lastly, please remember that although Gov. Shumlin requested funds and support from NORML last year for his re-election run he is NOT in favor of legalization. I know this for fact because I have an email from him saying so.

  22. Ok Mississippi we have a MMJ bill submitted on 1/21 by Senator Dawkins SB2369; lets help support her and contact your Reps!!! LETS GET THIS DONE!!!

  23. This is AWESOME!!! I love to see This kind of change in America. If only Texas would hop on the band wagon…

  24. bible belt states will never legalize weed, the politicains in those states really do believe marijuana is the devils drug. they believe its pure poison, also they are bible bashers, but what they dont know is it is written in 5 books of the old testament. it was not called cannabis it was called
    kohlen- bousem i cant remember the actual spelling. kohlen is hemp and bousom is the flower of the plant or as we call it the buds. make them old political assholes look it up on the internet. remember god moses and the burning bush? weed was used in the old testament in spiritual gathering and as oil.

  25. @wbs 101: Thanks for that info. I had no idea there was ever a limit anywhere on amounts of alcohol one could possess…and I do support any current legalization measures. It’s just too bad they can’t be more fact-based and fair from the start. Sure would save a lot of time and effort so we could get on with the benefits of a cannabis enhanced world.

  26. I don’t really mind the limit, an O seems like a pretty good starting point. I’m just glad we are getting closer to using cannabis without fear of being prosecuted. Tonight I smoke in honor of NORML and all other activists/organizations that helped us get here and who will keep pushing for federal reform.


  27. heck yes, its about time we the people took back our rights to choose for ourselves again, our bodies our choice. too many taxes wasted on paying people to fly around pulling plants.

  28. and for the bible thumping people, every seed bearing plant, and judge not less thee be judged, my body- my choice

  29. I think only the west coast states are likely to pass this. It wouldn’t surprise me if Hawaii does, but PA isn’t going to.

    At this point these measures are mostly symbollic. You can’t expect prosecutors to just ignore federal law. The Feds have been going after med. dispensaries for violating tax laws. You can’t claim business tax deductions on drug dealing. As far as the Feds are concerned their sales are illegal drug dealing.

    But if you get half the states passing this kind of law, then Congress will feel complelled to change the law.

  30. Everyone who supports the decriminalization, full out legalization and downgrade of marijuana as a schedule 1 drug, to less then that of cocaine & heroin, should send the DEA a letter of response to just how ridiculous their decision is. Very ridiculous and absurd.
    Soon, most of the states like mine here in WA will join our fight for legalization of this plant. When there are even southern states like Arkansas who put it on their ballots in 2012 election, but narrowly failed, then you know the country’s mindset on this issue has changed, just like it did for alcohol prohibition, one by one, the states overturned it. I am hopeful of the changes coming.

    DEA Website:

Leave a Reply