Key Hawaii Lawmaker Could Kill Marijuana Legalization Bill Despite Senate Approval

MJ moment

A marijuana legalization bill that was approved by the Hawaii Senate on Tuesday could be dead on arrival in the House, with a key committee chairman signaling that he might not even hold a hearing on the proposal. That would effectively kill the legislation for the session. House Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Nakashima (D) said in a recent interview that he thinks the state should focus on improving its existing medical cannabis system before advancing adult-use legalization. “On legalization, I really think we need to get the medical marijuana program up and running in a much more healthy way before we’re ready for any kind of legalization,” he told Honolulu Civil Beat. “I really think the dispensaries really need to be given a chance to really perform.” Contacted by Marijuana Moment about those remarks, Nakashima replied that the bill “will have to be considered in the Health Committee before I will have jurisdiction” in the Judiciary panel. He did not address a follow-up question about whether he would take up the legislation if it clears its first stop in the House. Advocates have expressed frustration over procedural rules that allow a committee chair to singularly defeat legislation that has already advanced through the opposite chamber. The Senate overwhelmingly approved the legalization measure with a supermajority vote of 20-5 after going through the committee process there. “Rep. Nakashima states that he’d like to ‘get the medical marijuana program up and running.’ Yet the dispensaries are in support of adult-use legalization provided that medical cannabis patients remain protected,” Nikos Leverenz, board president for the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii, told Marijuana Moment. “Dispensaries will have a competitive advantage when adult use is legalized, as was the case in Washington state. This includes those on Hawaii Island, which has a…

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Source : Key Hawaii Lawmaker Could Kill Marijuana Legalization Bill Despite Senate Approval

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