Hawaii Senate Panel Approves Bills To Legalize Marijuana And Increase Decriminalization Limit

MJ moment

Lawmakers in Hawaii voted to advance two marijuana bills on Tuesday, one to legalize and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older and another to increase the amount that is covered under the state’s existing decriminalization law. A separate proposal to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for therapeutic use, meanwhile, is set to be heard on Friday. Hawaii decriminalized up to three grams of marijuana—enough for a few joints—under a 2019 law that took effect last year, replacing criminal penalties with a $130 fine. This year’s bill, SB 758, would increase the possession threshold to one ounce, or about 28.5 grams. A separate bill, SB 767, would legalize marijuana and allow licensed businesses to cultivate, produce and sell cannabis products. It would also allow adults to grow up to three mature plants for personal use. Both measures were approved Tuesday by the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs. The decriminalization bill passed unanimously, 5–0, while the legalization bill received a no vote from the panel’s lone Republican, Sen. Kurt Fevella. The legalization bill now proceeds to a joint hearing between the Senate Judiciary and Ways and Means committees, after which it would head to the chamber floor. The decriminalization measure goes to the Judiciary Committee. That committee is chaired by Sen. Karl Rhoads (D), who also headed the panel when it passed a different legalization proposal out of committee two years ago. The bill’s progress halted after that. Advocates in the state are optimistic the marijuana decriminalization expansion bill can pass. They’d also like to see lawmakers amend the measure to reduce the current $130 penalty. “An increased threshold will help minimize the impact of the state’s criminal legal system upon those who possess cannabis, which is far from an inconsequential number,” Nikos Leverenz, board president for the Drug…

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Source : Hawaii Senate Panel Approves Bills To Legalize Marijuana And Increase Decriminalization Limit

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