Hawaii: Measure Decriminalizing Minor Marijuana Possession Becomes Law Absent Governor’s Signature

Democratic Gov. David Ige failed to take action on legislation decriminalizing low-level marijuana possession offenses, thereby allowing the measure to become law without his signature.

House Bill 1383 reduces penalties involving the possession of up to three grams of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a $1,000 fine and a criminal record, to a non-criminal violation – punishable by a $130 fine. It also provides procedures for the courts to grant an expungement order for those previously convicted of a marijuana possession offense involving no more than three grams.

The new law takes effect on January 11, 2020.

Twenty-six states and Washington, DC have either legalized or decriminalized the adult possession and use of marijuana.

Separate legislative measures which sought to establish a commercial hemp industry in Hawaii and to permit qualified patients to engage in inter-island travel with medical cannabis were both vetoed by the Governor on Tuesday.

More information regarding pending marijuana legislation is available from NORML’s Take Action Center.