Green Hawaii Weighing Marijuana Dispensaries
function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('Green Hawaii Weighing Marijuana Dispensaries');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

Green Hawaii Weighing Marijuana Dispensaries
Posted by CN Staff on March 06, 2010 at 09:01:38 PT
By Mark Niesse, The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
Honolulu -- Licensed medical marijuana users in Hawaii are allowed to smoke and even grow the drug, but they can't buy it unless they do so illegally. Since Hawaii became the first state to approve medical marijuana legislatively a decade ago, its law hasn't changed, meaning registered patients can only get weed by growing it themselves or through a caregiver.A new proposal advancing through the state legislature would create California-style medical marijuana dispensaries, where smokers may be able to buy the islands' well-known varieties such as "Maui Wowie" and "Kona Gold."
The Senate passed the measure this week, sending it to the House for further consideration. Gov. Linda Lingle has not indicated whether she supports the legislation.Hawaii is one of eight states with limited laws permitting patients to grow marijuana or get it from a caregiver while prohibiting sales at stores, according to the Washington-based Marijuana Policy Project. Six other states have authorized dispensaries for use by licensed medical marijuana patients.Patients like Teri Heede, who suffers from multiple sclerosis that limits her mobility and impairs her vision, said Hawaii needs to create a way for legitimate marijuana users to get their medicine. Heede currently gets her supply from a licensed caregiver."We need to take this out of the hands of the black market. We need a safe, quality, legal supply," said Heede, 54, who says she was bedridden before she smoked marijuana but now can walk. "We're just too sick to grow our own."Police are fighting medical marijuana expansion, arguing that crime would increase and too many people would abuse dispensaries by getting doctors' permission for made-up symptoms.For example, 4,199 out of the state's 7,095 marijuana patients list "severe pain" as their medical condition."Some of these physicians are just too generous in how they're issuing these permits. It's supposed to be for severe debilitation," said Keith Kamita, chief of the narcotics enforcement division for the Hawaii Department of Public Safety.One physician accounts for more than 2,000 of Hawaii's patients, Kamita said. Fifty-eight percent of Hawaii's patients are on the Big Island.States like Hawaii that were early adopters of medical marijuana laws are less likely to have the newer dispensary provisions, said Karmen Hanson of the National Conference of State Legislatures' health program."Dispensaries seem to be a newer aspect of the law. In states with existing statutes, you see legislation coming up to address the dispensary issue," she said.About 15 states are proposing legislation this year to create or update medical marijuana programs, she said.Existing Hawaii law turns patients into criminals because even people who grow their own pot have to get starter plants or seeds somewhere, which is illegal, said Jeanne Ohta, executive director for the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii."When people get their marijuana cards, they call us and ask, 'Now what do I do?'" Ohta said. "The only available source of marijuana is the illegal market."Lawmakers have an ulterior motive in establishing marijuana dispensaries: cash.Hawaii's legislation would tax medical marijuana at a rate of $30 per ounce along with a 4 percent sales tax, which could generate $50 million in annual revenue for a state government that's facing a $1.2 billion projected deficit."We've already legalized medical marijuana, and now we have to allow for humane access to it," said Sen. Kalani English, D-East Maui-Lanai-Molokai. "Our attitudes have changed in the last 10 years. Hawaii is a live-and-let-live state. If it doesn't harm anyone else, what you do is up to you."Along with the medical marijuana proposal, the state Senate also has passed a bill this year decriminalizing possession of less than an ounce. The measure would treat minor marijuana possession like a traffic ticket, with a maximum fine of $100.The Obama administration announced last year that patients wouldn't face federal arrest in states that allow medical marijuana.The six states with laws authorizing medical marijuana dispensaries are California, Colorado, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico and Rhode Island. The eight other states that remove criminal penalties for medical marijuana use are Alaska, Hawaii, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.On the Net:SB2213 and SB2450: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Mark Niesse, The Associated PressPublished: March 6, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Associated PressCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #4 posted by konagold on March 07, 2010 at 14:11:18 PT
Kimita sex fiend
'"Some of these physicians are just too generous in how they're issuing these permits. It's supposed to be for severe debilitation," said Keith Kamita, chief of the narcotics enforcement division for the Hawaii Department of Public Safety."citizens have had to pay $4,000,000 to settle a sex harassment case in which this scumbag hall monitor Kimita was a principalglad to see the Kona brand remembered
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by Canis420 on March 06, 2010 at 22:05:28 PT:
# 1
I really think that the majority of people do not realize this symbiotic relationship between the drug war and the leo community as it pertains to job security...its maddening! People believe that cops are the experts!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by John Tyler on March 06, 2010 at 21:03:33 PT
off topic
Check out this article from Newsweek. It is about something called K2, but the more interesting parts are to the right of the main article. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on March 06, 2010 at 09:09:58 PT
"she was bedridden before she smoked marijuana but
now can walk"A miracle! And this is mentioned casually as if it's nothing special. Go figure!Then again we have police thugs weighing in their 'expert opinion,' based on a high school degree, at best. And then to learn that these thugs actually get listened to and see that they hold up the whole process, so that people who are bedridden will have to stay in bed?!!!Why are they listening to the police? They are out for their own job and budget protection and not for the welfare of their citizens!
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment