Pubdate: Tue, 01 Feb 2011
Source: West Hawaii Today (HI)
Copyright: 2011 West Hawaii Today
Author: Andrea Tischler


State law allows registered cannabis patients to transport cannabis
for medical use in a manual put out by the state Narcotics Enforcement
Division. Yet, a registered patient has been found guilty of trying to
board a plane from Kona to Honolulu with two grams of cannabis
(medical marijuana patient convicted, WHT Jan. 21) and fined $330.

This begs the question: Why have a law if it is to be ignored? The
absurdity of the case and pettiness for the amount of cannabis would
be laughable were it not for the legal nightmare and stress to which
the patient is being subjected.

This is another example of how cannabis patients have and continue to
be treated as second-class citizens. The practice needs to end

Americans for Safe Access will continue to lobby to update antiquated
these laws and hopes that during this session the state legislators
will affirm that patients have the right to transport their medicine
when traveling for medical treatment between counties.

Another overdue legislative bill relates to establishing dispensaries
for the more than 8000 Hawaii registered patients. Many patients are
forced to buy from drug dealers, placing them in vulnerable and
frequently dangerous situations. It is essential that patients have
safe access to their medicine with a guarantee they are receiving
medicinal-grade cannabis. Dispensaries which will be state regulated
and taxed on sales also will pump needed revenues into state coffers.
This is a win-win for all.

I am optimistic that the legislators working with a receptive governor
this year will make the decisions that will address medical cannabis
patients' needs and that the dark chapter and the harsh injustice and
punishment delivered in the past will be just that.

Andrea Tischler


Americans for Safe Access

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