Pubdate: Sun, 05 Aug 2001
Source: West Hawaii Today (HI)
Copyright: 2001 West Hawaii Today
Author: Tiffany Edwards


HILO - At least 50 people, some of them self - described ministers, 
attended a five - hour hearing Friday mostly to voice disapproval of the 
Hawaii County Police Department's proposed rules and regulations for 
marijuana eradication and investigation of medical marijuana claims.

Many of "the regulars" - as Hilo resident Jonathan Adler characterized 
himself and others - were among the 30 - plus people who spoke at the 
hearing, including Roger Christie, who passed out a business card which 
states he is a cannabis sacrament minister for the Hawaii Cannabis Ministry.

Adler, wearing a T - shirt emblazoned with marijuana leaves, saying, "100% 
Legal," sat outside the County Council chambers with Jerry Hunt, smoking 
marijuana at one point during the hearing.

Both men say they can smoke marijuana for medical reasons, and Adler 
produced a blue card from his wallet which he claims was issued by the 
Department of Public Safety Narcotics Enforcement Division as part of its 
medical marijuana registry.

Mayor Harry Kim and Corpor - ation Counsel Lincoln Ashida drop - ped in for 
a short time to listen to Friday's testimony, but Councilmen Leningrad 
Elarionoff of Kohala, Gary Safarik of Puna and Curtis Tyler of Kona stayed 
for the duration.

Tyler, at the end of the citizens' testimony, told Hawaii County Police 
Capt. James Day, Lt. Robert Hickox, and Lt. Henry Tavares, impaneled to 
oversee the drafting of the marijuana - related rules and regulations, that 
the documents are non - compliant with Hawaii County law and insufficient. 
He asked that the documents be "substantially" altered.

This hearing, historically the first of its kind in the county, was 
initiated by the Hawaii County Police Department in order to receive input 
about its proposed rules and regulations it drafted as a result of the 
County Council members' resolution passed in March of this year.

The resolution officially authorized Hawaii County to receive a $265,000 
marijuana eradication grant and attached conditions for the Hawaii County 
Police Department to receive the money, some of them including:

- - Rappelling of officers must be at least 500 linear feet from any residence.

- - The funds are not to be used for aerial spraying activities.

- - A report shall be submitted to the County Council within 30 days from 
completion of each mission detailing the number of plants eradicated, 
location of the mission, number of public complaints received and what 
types of complaints they are, along with the disposition of the complaints.

- - The police department shall work with the state Department of Health and 
the state Attorney General's office in developing a plan where a portion of 
the confiscated marijuana can be set aside for medical marijuana use.

- - That department shall establish written rules and regulations regarding 
the use and/or possession of marijuana, which may be protected by state 
and/or federal law and/or the U.S. and state constitutions.

Tyler on Friday told the panel he did not believe the proposed rules and 
regulations for marijuana eradication and medical marijuana investigation 
addressed all of the conditions the county council outlined in their March 

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, the testimony of Kona resident Jerry 
Rothstein was interrupted by Aaron Anderson who claimed he and Christie 
were assaulted outside the council chambers by Dwight Kondo.

Kondo allegedly pushed Christie in the shoulder area and kicked him in the 
leg before kicking Anderson in the stomach.

The hearing recessed for a short time, while Day called uniformed Hawaii 
County police officers to the scene and statements were taken from Kondo 
and the two alleged victims.

Police chose not to arrest Kondo, but to submit the complaint against him 
to the Hawaii County prosecutor's office for it to review and decide what, 
if any misdemeanor charges should be filed against Kondo.

Before the altercation, Christie, wearing a marijuana leaf pin on the lapel 
of his sport coat, addressed the panel, but first set on the podium a box 
of hemp granola and an American flag made of hemp.

He said the public notice of the hearing published in the West Hawaii Today 
on July 1 had "significant defects."

"It did not include the constitutional uses," Christie said. "It said there 
are only two subjects (marijuana eradication and medical marijuana 
investigation) on the hearing today and I believe that there will be a 
special hearing for the constitutionally protected uses of cannabis. We're 
going to have to have this meeting one more time."

Christie and Anderson recently reached a settlement with Hawaii County for 
$75,000, after they sued the county and, specifically Prosecutor Jay Kimura 
and former Deputy Prosecutor Kay Iopa for violating their civil rights when 
the two men were arrested in 1991 for allegations of commercial promotion 
of marijuana. Both men were ultimately acquitted.

Kondo also addressed the panel, telling them, "Life without cannabis is 
hell and I would rather die as a young man fighting for it than live as an 
old man begging for it," as he pounded his fist on the podium. His words 
received loud cheers from the crowd.

Many were like Kondo and spoke less about the rules and regulations 
themselves than their philosophies about marijuana.

Hunt, who is 75, only referred to the rules and regulations as appearing 
like a "war game," but advocated marijuana being given to the elderly.

"Enough of this war game. Let's take care of the sick old ones first," he said.

Some like B.Z. Evans referred to "corrupt" police officers "who cruise 
around in helicopters and steal people's flowers for their own use" and 
called marijuana "a savior" in plant form.

They referred to the component in marijuana, THC, which induces a high, as 
"the light" and quoted scriptures, such as Genesis 1:29 to justify 
marijuana use.

Suggestions ranged from not just marking helicopters with "police" or 
"HPD," but also a number, and complaints and comments received for 
marijuana eradication should be kept longer than three years, maybe forever.

The only approval the panel received for its proposed documents was in a 
letter from a Keaau couple who stated that marijuana eradication has 
brought "positive social change in the Puna area."
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MAP posted-by: Larry Stevens