Pubdate: Wed, 29 Oct 2008
Source: West Hawaii Today (HI)
Copyright: 2008 West Hawaii Today
Author: Adam Lehmann


Vote 'Yes' For Question One On The Ballot

One for all and all for one "for" Ballot Question 1 that is. Finally
the Big Island has an opportunity to vote for a cannabis policy that
makes sense. If you support medical patients' rights, religious
freedom, privacy in the home, the 4th Amendment, a peaceful sky, an
efficient court system, space in our prisons, resolving the "ice"
epidemic, and meanwhile saving Hawaii County taxpayers millions of
dollars each year, then please tell your ohana and your friends to be
sure to vote for Ballot Question 1, the "Lowest Law Enforcement
Priority of Cannabis."

The only issue addressed in Ballot Question 1 is that of adult
personal use. Adult personal use is defined as the use of cannabis
"only" by a person 21 or older on private property only. Although the
County Council will no longer be allowed to accept funds for the
marijuana eradication program (green harvest), cannabis laws not
described in the lowest law enforcement priority of cannabis will
continue to be funded and enforced. Because the adult personal use of
cannabis would be law enforcement's lowest priority, police will
therefore have more time and resources to resolve the issues that
still concern people, issues such as; trafficking, distribution to
minors, large grow operations, and the use of cannabis in public
places. The police will also have more time and money to focus on
serious and violent crimes, such as "ice"-related crime and violence.

advertisementAccording to the three-year study performed in Hawaii by
The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), which is the largest
federally funded Institute created to resolve drug abuse, "the
marijuana eradication program (green harvest) has not stopped the
cultivation of cannabis in Hawaii, rather it has only limited its
supply, which increases its street value, resulting in more crime."
The National Institute of Drug Abuse also reported that "a large
increase of the use of methamphetamine was related to the marijuana
eradication program's implementation."

We aren't reinventing the wheel here, as a matter of fact, we would be
joining the likeness of 19 other U.S. municipalities who have voted in
favor of similar laws within the past five years, municipalities in
states such as Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri,
Montana, Oregon, and Washington. An oversight committee is designated
in our new bill to oversee and document details on how the new law is
taking effect in our community. In Seattle, their oversight committee
just disbanded after three years of determining that the intended
results had been achieved -- the number of adult cannabis arrests went
down significantly without any increase of the use of cannabis among
the youth, no increase in crime, and no adverse impact on public health.

People are tired of seeing money misappropriated away from our schools
and healthcare to fund a military-style war on a medicinal plant and
the people who use the plant. Ballot Question 1 is a sensible cannabis
policy for responsible adults; the issues that concern people will
continue to be well addressed, but adult personal use will no longer
takes up over $1.1 million each year from our county budget, money
that would be a great help toward resolving the "ice" epidemic,
especially if the money would be taken away from an effort which
perpetuates the crisis and weakens the morale of the community. Last
year on the Big Island there was more than one cannabis arrest for
every 100 people registered to vote in the county.

Now it's time to save our money and prioritize wisely; please vote for
Ballot Question 1 on Nov. 4, and spread the word.

Adam Lehmann

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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin