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Hawaii Passes A New Bill- decriminalizes cannabis possession from 2020

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Hawaii will be decriminalising cannabis possession

Hawaii will be decriminalizing cannabis possession from 2020 for small amounts, however citizens will still be penalized for it. A bill passed by the legislature will be decriminalizing possession of cannabis in amounts of three gms or less, and will set aside criminal convictions for those who have been charged with possession earlier. 

However, possession will still be punishable and the charged will receive a financial punishment of $130. Currently, possession of tiny amounts of marijuana may result in 30 days ‘ imprisonment along with a $1,000 fine (~€896.94) economic penalty. 

David Ige, the Governor let the bill enter into law after he didn’t veto it, in July. however, he also did not sign the bill. As no action was taken on the bill before 9 July, it will now come into effect on 11 January 2020. 

Access to medical cannabis has been legalized for a couple of years now in the 50th state of the United States, and the most recent to jump on the CBD bandwagon. 

Bill HB1383

The Bill HB1383 sets out the following information:

  • Decriminalize the possession of three or less grams of cannabis and fixate that possession of that amount is a punishable crime with a mandatory fine of $130; 
  • Offer expungement of criminal records specifically related to the possession of three or less grams of cannabis; and 
  • Build a cannabis evaluation task force to make suggestions on altering cannabis use penalties and outcomes in the State.

Decriminalizing cannabis possession but not legalizing 

Legalization of any compound allows the use or possession of a drug without any legal punishment of any kind- for both medicinal and recreational purposes. However, decriminalization of cannabis means that there are still some activities related to the use of a drug that might be illegal. 

In this particular case, where the state is decriminalizing cannabis possession- having possession of more than three grams of cannabis for recreational, personal use, as well as growing or selling cannabis for non-medical reason is still punishable by law. This implies that any citizen caught with more than three grams of cannabis or caught selling it in an illegitimate manner will be punished and arrested, and could be prosecuted for the same and put in prison. 

Two cannabis related bills vetoed

Governor Ige vetoed two further bills related to cannabis:

The first bill was the SB1353– a measure to launch an industrial hemp licensing programme which would require the Department of Agriculture to establish an industrial hemp plan to be approved by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), as well as making statutory changes such as removing the ownership or sale of either licensed or unlicensed industrial hemp from criminal regulation.

The reason this bill was vetoed was due to worries about the licensing system – such as non-compliance with USDA demands as well as the practical issues that would come with it about enforcing exiting medical marijuana laws.

Second, the HB290 bill was intended to authorize out-of-state patients to transport medical cannabis for private use between islands. Despite the government’s bill for decriminalized possession of cannabis, this particular bill was vetoed on cannabis issues, including medical cannabis, remaining illegal under federal law.

This is because some water and airspace regions fall within the federal government’s jurisdiction and could imply that individuals mistakenly think that they would not be subject to federal prosecution.

According to the federal government, hemp-derived cannabinoids are legal for production, processing, sales and consumption. The Farm bill in December 2018 legalized hemp-derived cannabinoid and removed it from the list of Controlled Substances. 

CBD is widely known for its medical benefits. From treating acute pain, aches, inflammation, irritation, swelling and reducing anxiety, depression, stress to curing severe ailments such as epilepsy, CBD is a popular compound among people. However, there is still a lot of research going on to explore the safety of CBD and how far can it be consumed without its side effects

Ivan writes about Cannabis at The Cannabis Radar. He has a degree in Nutrition Sciences from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre. He likes to spend his spare time reading to his daughter or spending time with his wife.

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