Hawaii Governor Vetoes Bill to Allow Medical Marijuana for Opioid Addiction

A legislative proposal to allow those with opioid addiction to become legal consumers of medical marijuana has been vetoed by Governor David Ige

Senate Bill 2407 was passed by an overwhelming majority in both the House and Senate, and would have added opioid addiction to the state’s qualifying medical marijuana list. In attempting to justify his veto of the bill, Governor Ige pointed to the fact that the Department of Health has a process for doctors and patients to apply to add qualifying conditions, and as such the legislature shouldn’t do so themselves. Ige’s argument is rather peculiar given that the legislature is the body that initially legalized medical marijuana in 2000.

The good news? Senate Bill 2407 may not be entirely dead. The legislature has the ability to override a governor’s veto with a two third majority vote. Although the measure has enough supporters that an override is entirely possible, it all comes down to whether or not enough lawmakers are willing to contradict their governor.

Senate Bill 2407 was filed by Senator William Espero.

The full list of current qualifying medical marijuana conditions in Hawaii can be found below—

  1. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (added effective December 19, 2017 as per the petition process)
  2. Cancer,
  3. Glaucoma,
  4. Lupus (added effective June 29, 2017 as per Act 041, SHL 2017)
  5. Epilepsy (added effective June 29, 2017 as per Act 041, SHL 2017)
  6. Multiple Sclerosis (added effective June 29, 2017 as per Act 041, SHL 2017)
  7. Rheumatoid Arthritis (added effective June 29, 2017 as per Act 041, SHL 2017)
  8. Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus,
  9. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome,
  10. Post-traumatic stress disorder (added effective July 1, 2015 as per Act 241, SLH 2015), or
  11. “The treatment of these conditions”, or
  12. “A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following:
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome,
  • Severe pain,
  • Severe nausea,
  • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy, or
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis or Crohn’s disease.

Emily Watkins is a PhD student majoring in public policy. Emily has been a freelance editor for numerous websites, and has spent hundreds of hours volunteering to help legalize marijuana. She currently resides in Los Angeles, and can be reached at Watkins.MarijuanaHerald@Gmail.com.

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