Pubdate: Fri, 24 May 2002
Source: Honolulu Advertiser (HI)
Copyright: 2002 The Honolulu Advertiser, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
Author: Hugh Clark
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


Six Hawai'i County Council members have been sued for allegedly violating 
the county's charter by continuing to fail to do a review of the county's 
marijuana enforcement program.

Roger Christie, a longtime marijuana advocate who filed the lawsuit 
Wednesday, had previously won part of a $75,000 out-of-court settlement for 
allegedly illegal enforcement actions.

The lawsuit named as defendants County Council Chairman Jimmy Arakaki and 
members Aaron Chung, Leningrad Elarionoff, Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd, Gary 
Safarik and Dominic Yagong. All are Democrats, except for Republican 
Elarionoff. He and Safarik are former police officers.

Christie is acting as his own attorney in the dispute.

Christie and others took the council to court in the past for allegedly not 
meeting the charter provisions that require audits of certain programs 
every four years.

No audit has been done with the marijuana eradication program, which 
involves federal money and use of helicopters.

Police opponents say an audit would show graft and waste in the program, 
which is conducted under a joint agreement between the county police vice 
squad and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

This suit did not involve Jonathan Adler of Puna, who is now running for 
governor, or Aaron Anderson, who with Christie received the out-! of-court 
settlement from the council in August 2001.

Adler said yesterday he expected follow-up action to seek removal of the 
council members for knowingly violating the charter. Earlier efforts to 
impeach a former mayor and a majority of the council were denied by Big 
Island Circuit Judge Riki May Amano.
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