Ask Your State Rep to Stop Jailing Cannabis Consumers!

Apr 05, 2024

Hawaii, legalization

Ask Your State Rep to Stop Jailing Cannabis Consumers!

We're sorry to report that Hawaii’s legalization bill has died without being scheduled for a hearing in House Finance. While this is disappointing, legalization got further this year than ever before and we’re not giving up until it crosses the finish line. The bill’s House sponsor, Rep. David Tarnas, is committed to continuing working on the bill and researching the issue in the interim.

2024 is also an election year, so you’ll have an opportunity to elect new lawmakers before legalization is taken up again. (Or even run yourself.)

In the meantime, another crucial bill needs your support. SB 2487, HD 1 has passed the Senate, and a Second Reading vote in the House — after having been improved and passed by the House Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs Committee. It has one more House floor vote to go before heading back to the Senate. Prosecutors and police are fearmongering to try to defeat even this important but modest reform.

Ask your state representative to vote “yes” on this cannabis justice bill.

As amended in the House Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee, at the request of MPP and our allies, SB 2487, HD 1 would:

  • expand cannabis decriminalization, which now only applies to up to 3 grams of cannabis, to apply to one ounce of cannabis, five grams of concentrates, and products with up to 500 milligrams of THC.
  • expand cannabis decriminalization to also include sharing among adults.
  • reduce the penalty for possession from $130 to a $25 fine, while keeping the $130 fine for public smoking.
  • add a community service alternative to fines.
  • reduce the penalty for under two ounces or the equivalent to a petty misdemeanor.
  • remove the up to $500 fine for paraphernalia for cannabis storage or use.

SB 2487, HD 1  would ensure folks returning from the mainland with a package of edibles aren’t arrested and incarcerated. It would spare hundreds of people a life-altering criminal conviction for the personal use of cannabis.

Ask your lawmakers to support this vital reform to stop criminalizing cannabis consumers.

Turning back to bleaker news, we’re sad to report that HB 1595, the modest limited expungement bill, appears to have died without being scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. A Clean Slate Task force bill, however, is still alive to continue the progress on this essential piece of cannabis justice.

Mahalo for your action on this important issue.