Lawmakers propose decriminalizing larger amounts of cannabis – Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Hawaii News

In what may be another small step toward eventual legalization of cannabis here, a key state Senate committee Tuesday tentatively approved a bill to decriminalize possession of up to 10 grams in Hawaii. Read more

In what may be another small step toward eventual legalization of cannabis here, a key state Senate committee Tuesday tentatively approved a bill to decriminalize possession of up to 10 grams in Hawaii.

Lawmakers last year passed Act 273 to set the penalty for possession of three grams of cannabis or less at a fine of up to $130 but no jail time. That law took effect Jan. 11.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Karl Rhoads announced Tuesday he was amending Senate Bill 2361 to decriminalize possession of up to 10 grams of pakalolo, making it punishable with only a fine. That proposal was unanimously approved by the committee members.

Rhoads said in an interview after the hearing that “my feeling is that that’s the direction that the country is going and that the state is going, and I think most people … my guess is that legalization for recreational use is probably a majority opinion at this time, especially if we taxed it.”

“It’s just edging us toward what I think is coming, and I think if we actually pass it, the world won’t come to an end and people will realize that it’s not crazy to go full recreational,” he said.

Cannabis remains illegal under federal law, but Illinois on Jan. 1 joined 10 other states and the District of Columbia in legalizing marijuana for recreational use. The other states with legal weed are Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

According to governing.com, 33 states have passed laws “broadly legalizing marijuana in some form.”

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