A Medical Marijuana Task Force for Hawai‘i (?)
A Medical Cannabis Working Group for Hawai‘i has been convened to do the work of the taskforce created by Act 29 (2009) that Governor Linda Lingle refuses to convene (more about this issue below).
The working group will consider patient concerns about Hawai‘i's current Medical Use of Marijuana Program. Patients have been asking that the program be updated to be more patient-friendly and to address their concerns.
One of the requirements of Act 29 has been met. The Legislative Reference Bureau has completed a report on "The policies and procedures for access, distribution, security, and other relevant issues related to the medical use of cannabis for all the states that currently have a medical cannabis program" (download document).
The report "Access, Distribution, and Security Components of State Medical Marijuana Programs" (download document) by Lance Ching, Research Attorney is here.
Patients have cited as a major obstacle, the lack of legal sources of marijuana. Although the program allows patients to grow as many as seven plants for their use; many are not able to. Even if they are able, the law does not address where they are to obtain their starter clones or seeds.
To complicate matters, patients have been told by law enforcement agencies that current patients with medical marijuana certificates cannot provide seeds or clones to new patients; that the only legal transfer of cannabis (marijuana) can occur between a registered caregiver to their registered patient. The program restricts a caregiver to a single patient; and many patients have not been able to find a caregiver.
The working group is tasked with:
Background information on the Medical Marijuana Task Force:
July 15, 2009: DPFH thanks the leaders of the Senate and House for their efforts on behalf of seriously ill patients.The DPFH received word that both chambers of the Hawaii legislature have voted to override the Governor's veto of SB1058 which sets up a taskforce to discuss changes in Hawai‘i's Medical Marijuana Program.
In the Senate, the vote was unanimous. In the House, the vote to override the veto was 38 Ayes; and 9 Noes by Representative(s): Awana, Ching, Finnegan, Har, Ito, Manahan, Sagum, Tokioka, Yamane; and 4 Excused Representative(s) Berg, Takai, Thielen, Ward.
"Access Distribution, and Security Components of State Medical Marijuana Programs" a 35-page report by Lance Ching, Research Attorney, Legislative Reference Bureau, 2009.
As required by SB1058, which became Act 29 (2009), the Legislative Reference Bureau submitted this report on the "policies and procedures for access, distribution, security, and other relevant issues related to the medical use of cannabis for all the states that currently have a medical cannabis program."
• download the PDF file of the report (1.8MB)
Press Release from the Governor's Office regarding the bills that she vetoed.
Governor Lingle's veto message about the Medical Marijuana Task Force (as a pdf)
For the State of Hawai‘i’s website for SB1058 SD2 HD2 please click here
The Medical Cannabis Working Group Launches their effort to hear from patients. Please complete the Questionnaire and mail it to the address on the form.
Medical Marijuana Task Force in the News:
September 26, 2009: Move on medical marijuana
Editorial, Honolulu Star Bulletin.
September 23, 2009: Medical marijuana - Improvements vital to those registered
Letters to the editor by Pam Lichty, Honolulu Advartiser
Sept. 16 2009: DPFH Media Advisory
Sept 14, 2009: Honolulu Advertiser: "No pot task force this year"
July 30, 2009: "Bail out Government by Decriminalizing Pot."
The syndicated column by Froma Harrop was printed in the Honolulu Star Bulletin, page 29.
• To read the article please click here
July 5, 2009: Fix medical marijuana program
Honolulu Star Bulletin, Jeanne Ohta, letters to the editor
The governor stubbornly clings to outdated federal policy to justify her veto of a bill establishing a task force to make recommendations to improve the current medical marijuana program. Let's be clear: nothing in federal law prevents the formation of this task force. Recent court rulings, a change in the federal administration, and progress in other states indicate that the rationale for her possible veto doesn't hold up.
Rhode Island legislators, for example, overwhelmingly overrode a gubernatorial veto so that seriously ill patients will be able to obtain medical marijuana legally from three dispensaries. Until the passage of this courageous legislation, patients there were in the same predicament as Hawaii patients: with no legal way to purchase their medicine, patients and caregivers are forced to grow it themselves or buy it on the streets.
Other states are making progress in addressing patients' concerns. In nine years, Hawaii hasn't addressed even one. On behalf of the almost 5,000 seriously ill patients registered with the program, we urge the governor to rethink her veto and legislators to override it if it happens.
Jeanne Y. Ohta
Executive director, Drug Policy Forum of Hawai‘i
July 3, 2009: DPFH Media Advisory
Just prior to news of the governor's veto DPFH sent out a media statement which explains more.
June 16, 2009: Tweaking Medical Marijuana Legislation Aired on Hawaii Public Radio
Nine years ago this week the Hawai‘i Legislature became the first in the nation to approve the use of medical marijuana. But now advocates are pushing for a study of what they say are serious flaws with the legislation. HPR's Ben Markus reports.
The Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii
If you are having trouble with our Navigation menus please use The Sitemap.