Hawaii Marijuana Legalization Bill Announced

At a press conference proponents of legalizing marijuana in Hawaii held a press conference to announce new legislation to do just that.

State Representative Jeanné Kapela held the press conference along with members of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii, and the ACLU of Hawaii to announce her new legislation. The proposal would allow anyone 21 and older to possess and use marijuana, and would establish a system of licensed retail outlets to legally distribute marijuana and marijuana products.

“Marijuana prohibition has caused immeasurable harm to our communities, particularly communities of color,” said DeVaughn Ward, MPP’s Senior Legislative Counsel. “Cannabis legalization is an opportunity to stop the harm to our residents and the waste of limited public safety resources.”

Nikos Leverenz of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii said that a properly regulated adult-use market “will create many quality jobs and business opportunities across the state, including those related to cannabis tourism, craft cannabis, and cannabis science.”

He says that “Hawaii has a rare opportunity this year to move forward and to protect public health and to create quality jobs and economic opportunity across the state, including our neighbor island communities”.

Representative Kapela said: “We all know, and Hawaii’s people know, that it is high time to legalize recreational cannabis use for adults in Hawaii. This year we stand on the precipice of history.”

She continued: “Following the recommendations of a task force devoted to addressing cannabis policy, we now have a roadmap for legalizing recreational cannabis in our islands.”

Although former Hawaii Governor David Ige was not a supporter of legalizing marijuana newly elected Governor Josh Green said in November 2022 that he would sign a legalization bill if it reached his desk.

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