Hawaiian Legislature Passes Medical Marijuana Bill Governor Cayetano Will Sign The Bill Into Law

The Hawaii State Senate approved a bill that protects seriously ill patients who use marijuana medically from local and state criminal prosecution. Governor Ben Cayetano (D) has said he will sign the bill into law.
“We are pleased that the legislature has taken the final step to end the war on marijuana-using patients,” said Dr. Donald Topping, President of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii. “Following on the heels of an unbroken string of state ballot initiative victories on this issue, this is the first time that a state legislature has passed a law to make marijuana available.
“Senate Bill 862 passed through the Senate with a 15-10 vote Tuesday. The Bill, which had been approved by the House earlier this month with amendments, was initially approved by the Senate in March.
The legislation would allow for the medical use of marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation, for patients who suffer from such medical conditions as cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, a chronic or debilitating disease, wasting syndrome, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, severe muscle spasms including multiple sclerosis, or any other medical condition approved by the department of health.
Patients and their primary caregivers will be required to register annually with the Hawaii Department of Public Safety. Registered patients are allowed to possess no more than three mature marijuana plants, four immature plants and one ounce of smokeable marijuana per each mature plant.
“The approval of medical use by the elected legislature in Hawaii is a very positive development,” said Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director. “We’ve been winning this issue when we can present it directly to the voters, while elected officials have been less receptive. It appears they are finally listening to their constituents”
For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director or Donald Topping, Drug Policy Foundation of Hawaii President at (808) 637-9822.