Hawaii House Committee Passes Senate-Approved Bill to Decriminalize One Ounce of Marijuana

Legislation to decriminalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana has been passed by a key committee in the Hawaii House of Representatives.

The House Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee voted 7 to 2 yesterday to pass Senate Bill 2487. The full Senate gave approval to the measure earlier this month, with the vote being 24 to 1.

Under current Hawaii law possessing up to three grams of marijuana is decriminalized, punishable by a maximum fine of $130. However, possessing more than three grams is a misdemeanor. Senate Bill 2478 would increase the three gram limit to one ounce (28 grams), mirroring the possession limit established in many other states that have decriminalize or legalized marijuana. It would also reduce the fine from $130 to $25.

Under SB 2478 consuming marijuana in public would be punishable by a fine of up to $130. Possessing over one ounce but no more than two ounces would be punishable by a petty misdemeanor with up to 30 days in jail.

A separate measure to fully legalize recreational marijuana, including establishing a system of licensed and regulated marijuana retail outlets, is also making its way through the Hawaii Legislature. The measure has received passage through the Senate (19 to 6), it’s been approved by three House committees and it recently received approval through its second reading in the full House of Representatives by a vote of 25 to 23. If the measure is is approved through the Finance Committee and then a third House reading, it will be sent to Governor Josh Green.

According to polling released last year, 52% of adults in Hawaii in support of legalizing marijuana, with just 31% opposed.

In February we named Hawaii one of four states on track to legalize marijuana in 2024. You can find the full list by clicking here.

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