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1 US HI: HPD In Error Over Cannabis Patients With Guns, Chief SaysThu, 07 Dec 2017
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:79 Added:12/07/2017

"Merely having a medical marijuana card doesn't mean you're using marijuana. We can't prove you're using marijuana. Our practice of having them turn in their firearms was incorrect," Honolulu police Chief Susan Ballard said of her department's controversial policy requiring medical marijuana patients to relinquish their guns.

Honolulu police Chief Susan Ballard said her department's controversial policy requiring medical marijuana patients to relinquish their guns was wrong.

"It is not illegal to possess the ones you already have," Ballard told the Honolulu Police Commission on Wednesday. "Merely having a medical marijuana card doesn't mean you're using marijuana. We can't prove you're using marijuana. Our practice of having them turn in their firearms was incorrect."

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2 US HI: HPD Reviewing Policy On Marijuana And GunsFri, 01 Dec 2017
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:94 Added:12/06/2017

The Honolulu Police Department is reviewing a controversial policy that requires legal marijuana patients to turn in their firearms.

The reconsideration follows community backlash since the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported earlier this week that HPD has sent letters to at least 30 medical cannabis users who are permitted gun owners telling them to surrender their firearms.

The new police chief, Susan Ballard, hasn't said what her position is on the issue. HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu said Ballard is reviewing the policy.

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3 US HI: HPD Won't Take Guns From Medical Marijuana UsersWed, 06 Dec 2017
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:Hawaii Lines:33 Added:12/06/2017

The Honolulu Police Department will not enforce a controversial policy requiring legal marijuana patients to turn in their guns.

The department issued a notice Tuesday, saying it is consulting with other governmental agencies, as well as reviewing recent court rulings regarding the issue. HPD said it will, however, continue to deny new firearm permits to applicants with medical marijuana cards.

"This is a new area of concern for cities across the country, and we in Honolulu want to develop a policy that's legally sound and serves our community," HPD Chief Susan Ballard said in a news release. "Formulating the policy will take time, but we want to do it right."

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4 US HI: Medicinal Marijuana Users Thrill To 'Historic Day' On OahuThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:85 Added:08/10/2017

Dozens of patients anxiously stood in line - one as early as the night before - to be the first on Oahu to buy products such as Chocolope and Lemon Drop, medical marijuana strains that went on sale Wednesday.

"It's like a candy store," said Kimbreley Timulty, 45, who was among the first to purchase pot at Aloha Green LLC. "It was overwhelming because you walk in there and that's the only thing that you smell."

Timulty, who uses marijuana for insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder, and her 47-year-old husband, Joseph, from Makiki, said they have been waiting 17 years for medicinal pot to be readily available in Hawaii.

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5 US HI: State's First Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens On MauiTue, 08 Aug 2017
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:59 Added:08/08/2017

Hawaii history will be made today when the first dispensary opens for business on Maui, nearly two decades after the state legalized medical marijuana.

Maui Grown Therapies, one of eight dispensary licensees, will begin at 11 a.m. the first legal sales of cannabis in the islands. The company was the first to pass a final Health Department inspection Monday, beating at least one other dispensary, Aloha Green Holdings Inc. on Oahu, to be the first to open.

It is a significant milestone for the industry that has struggled to get off the ground since the law establishing dispensaries was passed in 2015. The first dispensaries were allowed to open as early as July 2016, but were delayed for more than a year, frustrating medical cannabis patients and caregivers.

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6 US HI: Big Island Still Has Most Medical Marijuana UsersMon, 17 Jul 2017
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:Hawaii Lines:61 Added:07/21/2017

Thirty-eight percent of the 17,591 patients registered in Hawaii's medical marijuana program were located on the Big Island.

Recently released data by the state Department of Health indicates the trend of medical marijuana patients in Hawaii is changing.

Thirty-eight percent of the 17,591 patients registered in Hawaii's medical marijuana program were located on Hawaii Island, according to the data released Friday. That's down from 40 percent in March and 42 percent in December.

Meanwhile, the percentage of patients hailing from Oahu has jumped from 25 percent in December to 29 percent last month, a more than 1,300-patient increase. The Big Island's patient count increased by about 300 people in that same time, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported.

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7 US HI: Gov. Ige Signs Bill Cutting Penalties For Possessing DrugSat, 08 Jul 2017
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Dayton, Kevin Area:Hawaii Lines:140 Added:07/11/2017

Until Governor David Ige approved the new law, possession of drug paraphernalia ranging from marijuana pipes to plastic bags and needles was a felony that carried a penalty of up to five years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. Now, people caught with drug paraphernalia would face no jail time and could be fined no more than $500.

Gov. David Ige has quietly signed a new law that dramatically reduces the penalties for possession of all kinds of drug paraphernalia - a proposal that was opposed by Attorney General Douglas Chin as well as prosecutors on Hawaii island, Maui and in Honolulu.

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8 US HI: OPED: It's Time To Move On Marijuana BillsSun, 26 Feb 2017
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Tippens, Michelle Area:Hawaii Lines:79 Added:02/26/2017

Since 2000, the state of Hawaii has had a medical-use-of-marijuana program to provide patients with chronic illness a safe and effective treatment option. As we progress through 2017 and in anticipation of opening dispensaries, it is now the appropriate time to remove the inconsistent treatment of cannabis as an illegal substance from Hawaii law. It would seem the state Legislature agrees, as there are over 10 bills seeking to decriminalize marijuana; over 10 bills expanding the current dispensary program (even though dispensaries haven't opened yet); over five bills trying to open the state in some way to industrial hemp; and several bills claiming portions of the tax revenue from still unopened dispensaries - all alongside two or three bills with a more "boogeyman" and much less science-based approach. For example, House Bill 922 points out that 90 percent of the state's medical marijuana certifications are issued by just 10 doctors, then asserts this is due to some abuse ! of the system instead of the fact that most doctors feel their license will be in danger if they issue marijuana certifications, or the fact that many people choose to seek marijuana certifications from doctors who specialize in cannabis rather than their regular doctor.

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9 US HI: Meth Ring Leader Sentenced To 28 Years In PrisonTue, 10 Jan 2017
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:Hawaii Lines:33 Added:01/11/2017

A leader of a ring that conspired to smuggle methamphetamine from San Diego to Hawaii has been sentenced in federal court to 28 years in prison, the U.S. Attorney's office in Honolulu said today.

Jesse Wade Pelkey, 38, of Imperial Beach, Calif., was sentenced Thursday by Senior District Judge Helen Gillmor. In September, Pelkey pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, according to a news release from Florence T. Nakakuni, U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii.

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10 US HI: City To Pay $575,000 To Settle LAPD Sex Abuse CaseThu, 05 Jan 2017
Source:Haleakala Times (HI)          Area:Hawaii Lines:73 Added:01/06/2017

The City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to approve the payout to the woman, whom LAPD investigators believe is one of at least four women James Nichols and Luis Valenzuela coerced into sex. The Times generally does not name alleged victims of sex crimes.

Nichols and Valenzuela, both 41, were working as narcotics detectives in Hollywood in 2010 when they arrested the woman, according to one of her attorneys, Dennis Chang, and a search warrant affidavit LAPD investigators filed as part of their criminal investigation into the officers' conduct.

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11US HI: High Demand ... To Get HighMon, 22 Aug 2016
Source:Hawaii Tribune Herald (Hilo, HI) Author:Johnson, Kirsten Area:Hawaii Lines:Excerpt Added:08/22/2016

Medical Marijuana Proponents Predict Big Increase in Users

New data from the state Department of Health confirms Hawaii County has nearly twice as many medical marijuana patients as Oahu, with about 11 percent living in Pahoa alone.

On June 30, there were 6,101 patients residing on Hawaii Island, comprising 42 percent of the 14,492 patients statewide. The island has about 13 percent of the state's total population.

Pahoa, with an estimated 14,565 residents in 2014, had 702 of those patients. Meanwhile, Hilo - with roughly three times the population as Pahoa - had 637 patients. Kona had 705 and Oahu had 3,408 patients.

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12US HI: OPED: A Medical Marijuana Win, For NowSat, 20 Aug 2016
Source:Hawaii Tribune Herald (Hilo, HI)          Area:Hawaii Lines:Excerpt Added:08/20/2016

Afederal appeals court gave medical marijuana advocates what seemed like a big win this week with a unanimous ruling that the federal government cannot prosecute people who grow and distribute medicinal cannabis if they comply with state laws.

The decision affirms a mandate from Congress that barred the U.S. Department of Justice in 2014 and 2015 from bringing cases against legitimate pot shops in states that have medical marijuana laws. It makes clear that if operators are meticulously following the rules, they shouldn't have to worry about the feds coming after them.

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13 US HI: OPED: Legal Sale of Marijuana Not to Blame for World'sThu, 04 Aug 2016
Source:West Hawaii Today (HI) Author:Bernstone, Ruth Area:Hawaii Lines:63 Added:08/04/2016

I'm writing in response to Mr. McClure's letter to the editor on July 31 regarding Colorado's experience with legalized marijuana.

It must have been a shock for him to return to Denver after almost 30 years and find that the place had changed.

My husband and I moved from Denver to Waikoloa Village 20 years ago but have been visiting almost every year since to see family and friends.

Yes, Denver has changed over the years, but it happened long before the legalization of marijuana three years ago. The population of the Denver Metro area increased by 50 percent between 1980 and 2000. At the risk of stereotyping, traffic really started to get bad in the 1980s when the city received an influx of Californians who brought their driving habits of honking as soon as the light turns green and running red lights regularly with them. And more people means more cars and more traffic on the roads.

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14 US HI: PUB LTE: Have Pot Profits Go To CommunityWed, 03 Aug 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Gonzalez, Tony Area:Hawaii Lines:25 Added:08/03/2016

Recently, our state fitted nine favored companies with licenses to cultivate and provide medical marijuana to the sick, which will generate millions of dollars in profits.

If we are going to legalize medical marijuana in Hawaii, the community should benefit from the profits.

Why not team with the state Department of Agriculture to form a medical marijuana agency that would help minimize patients' expenses?

Tony Gonzalez Waianae


15 US HI: Hawaii's Industry Slow To GrowThu, 28 Jul 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:97 Added:07/28/2016

Many Doctors Are Adopting a Risk-Averse Attitude and Want to Wait Until Dispensaries Are Established

Health care providers have been slow to embrace the medical marijuana industry even though July 15 was the legal opening date for the state's first dispensaries. The number of doctors certifying medical cannabis patients only climbed slightly over the past six months. There were 88 physicians who certified 14,492 patients as of June 30, up from 79 doctors and 13,150 patients on Dec. 31, according to the state Health Department.

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16 US HI: OPED: It's Time To Fully Exploit Hemp ProductionSun, 17 Jul 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Gabbard, Mike Area:Hawaii Lines:85 Added:07/17/2016

On July 7, Gov. David Ige signed into law what might prove to be the most important piece of economic legislation in the past 50 years. Hawaii now enjoys the best hemp law in the nation.

We who have been active in bringing back hemp to agriculture believe that generations will still be saying mahalo to those who worked, some for decades, to get this law passed. Now it's time to implement it.

The hemp industry is growing 1,000 percent per year in the U.S., despite the "research only" provision for hemp in federal law. No place is more ready to lead hemp's resurgence than the Aloha State. Our year-round cultivation climate, small farmer infrastructure, and bottom line need for a regenerative agriculture economy means we have all the pieces of the puzzle.

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17 US HI: Marijuana Dispensaries DelayedSun, 03 Jul 2016
Source:Garden Island (Lihue, HI) Author:Alayvilla, Alden Area:Hawaii Lines:56 Added:07/03/2016

DOH Says Inspections Still To Be Completed

LIHUE - The more than 1,600 registered medical marijuana patients on Kauai may not be getting their medicine at a licensed dispensary in July.

Department of Health officials said facility inspections of the state eight licensees have yet to take place. That means dispensaries won't be ready to open a retail establishment by July 15, the earliest date legislators allowed them to start selling medicine to registered patients.

"The Department of Health is unable to predict the progress by each licensee because there are a number of requirements that are outside of our department's control," said Janice Okubo, DOH spokeswoman.

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18 US HI: 'Not A Perfect Bill'Sun, 12 Jun 2016
Source:West Hawaii Today (HI) Author:Johnson, Kirsten Area:Hawaii Lines:94 Added:06/14/2016

Legislators Field Marijuana Questions at Meeting in Pahoa

Hawaii's medical marijuana dispensary law isn't perfect - far from it - - but it's a start, and the state needs to begin somewhere.

That's how lawmakers characterized the up-and-coming dispensary system Thursday evening to a fired up crowd in Pahoa, many who pointed out what they called flaws in the way the law was written.

"What we came up with, I don't choose to defend, I think it's extremely imperfect," state Sen. Russell Ruderman, D-Puna, told the nearly 100 attendees, which appeared to include several patients and marijuana users. "But it's a step, and we're going to keep taking steps. I think five years from now, the situation is going to look dramatically different than it does now. Meanwhile, it's like walking through mud - you can't run, you gotta keep moving forward."

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19 US HI: Column: California To Become The Center Of CannabisWed, 18 May 2016
Source:Garden Island (Lihue, HI) Author:Abcarian, Robin Area:Hawaii Lines:126 Added:05/18/2016

The other day, in a seaside cafe here, veteran cannabis journalist David Bienenstock gamely fielded my attempts to catch up on a subject I have failed to appreciate for far too long: the coming end of marijuana prohibition.

Earlier this month, the backers of a California initiative to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and tech kabillionaire Sean Parker, said they had gathered enough signatures to make the November ballot. In the same week, the federal government dropped its long-standing case against Oakland's Harborside Health Center, the largest medical pot dispensary in the country.

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20 US HI: Column: Legislators Cast Lot With Pot for Isles'Sun, 15 May 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Shapiro, David Area:Hawaii Lines:78 Added:05/16/2016

The Hawaii Legislature's fixation on marijuana as a medical cure-all is starting to resemble a remake of the Cheech and Chong classic, "Up in Smoke."

As lawmakers meticulously tweaked the medical marijuana law that could see local dispensaries selling pot within months, more pressing medical concerns - failing state hospitals, doctor shortages, bullying insurers - got little relief in the 2016 session.

The Legislature grudgingly threw cash-strapped Wahiawa General Hospital a $2.5 million Band-Aid only because the district's senator was in a position to hold up the entire state budget without it.

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21 US HI: PUB LTE: Decriminalize And Tax ItFri, 13 May 2016
Source:Hawaii Tribune Herald (Hilo, HI) Author:Fogel, Fred Area:Hawaii Lines:24 Added:05/14/2016

So, proposed new laws might make it legal for cannabis dispensaries to grow pakalolo in sunlight, and nurses might be able to certify pot patients. Whoopee! Why not just decriminalize Hawaii's biggest cash crop, and tax dispensaries and growers, like grocery stores and farmers? End of story! Why is that so hard for the politicians to understand? It's about time government stops trying to protect people from themselves!

Fred Fogel



22 US HI: Ending The War On DrugsSun, 01 May 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Tangonan, Shannon Area:Hawaii Lines:167 Added:05/01/2016

With Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Coming Soon, the Debate Shifts to Decriminalizing Some Drugs

Thirteen years after Hawaii legalized medical marijuana, the state is finally forging ahead with licensing marijuana dispensaries, issuing licenses to eight applicants on Friday. As it has in other states, that policy shift could usher in a new era of social norms. Back in 1973, Oregon was the first state to decriminalize small amounts of cannibas for recreational use. Four decades later, Oregon voters said yes to legalizing marijuana, as Colorado and Washington had already done in 2012. Twenty states and Washington, D.C., have decriminalized marijuana possession.

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23US HI: State Lawmakers Mull Bill to Clarify Medical MarijuanaWed, 27 Apr 2016
Source:Hawaii Tribune Herald (Hilo, HI) Author:Riker, Marina Starleaf Area:Hawaii Lines:Excerpt Added:04/27/2016

HONOLULU (AP) - With less than a week to go before the state is scheduled to announce the names of its first medical marijuana dispensary owners, lawmakers are considering a bill to clarify gaps in the dispensary law passed last year.

State lawmakers discussed a bill during a hearing Monday that would clear up tax problems and give certain nurses the ability to recommend medical marijuana for patients. It also would allow for interisland transport of medical marijuana for laboratory testing and make rules for what kind of marijuana products could be sold in dispensaries.

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24 US HI: OPED: Rebels In The War On DrugsSat, 16 Apr 2016
Source:West Hawaii Today (HI) Author:Hari, Johann Area:Hawaii Lines:83 Added:04/16/2016

Once a decade, the United Nations organizes a meeting where every country in the world comes together to figure out what to do about drugs - and up to now, they've always pledged to wage a relentless war, to fight until the planet is "drug-free." They've consistently affirmed U.N. treaties written in the 1960s and 1970s, mainly by the United States, which require every country to arrest and imprison their way out of drug-related problems.

But at this year's meeting in New York City later this month, several countries are going to declare: This approach has been a disaster. We can't do this anymore. Enough.

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25 US HI: Editorial: 2 Weeks Nothing Versus 15 YearsFri, 15 Apr 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:Hawaii Lines:25 Added:04/15/2016

It seems more than a little disingenious for some to be heaping blame on the state Department of Health (DOH) over the medical-marijuana licensure deadline, now moved back two weeks, from Friday to April 29.

After all, it took the state Legislature some 15 years after OK'ing medical marijuana use before it finally approved a pot-dispensaries law last year. Huge potential for money-making could be at stake, not to mention keiki and public safety.

The DOH did misstep when it initially tried to keep the licensee selection panel secret, but delaying an arbitrary final deadline by two weeks isn't as egregious as some imply.


26US HI: Will Pot Become Too Pricey?Tue, 12 Apr 2016
Source:Hawaii Tribune Herald (Hilo, HI) Author:Johnson, Kirsten Area:Hawaii Lines:Excerpt Added:04/13/2016

Some Fear Dispensaries Will Limit Access and Be Cost-Prohibitive

Crippling stress, extreme pain and bad arthritis - for 72-year-old Subhadra Corcoran, cannabis is essentially the only fix.

The Kona resident has used the drug medicinally for decades. For the past 10 years, she's been a patient in Hawaii's medical marijuana program.

But later this year, when the state's first dispensaries can legally begin operating, Corcoran isn't planning to use them.

"I can't afford to buy pot," said Corcoran, who said she currently gets weed through a caregiver on the island. "I'm 72-years-old, disabled and living off Social Security ... if they had $10 (for an eighth of an ounce of marijuana), I would. If they would make it affordable and my insurance would cover, of course I would. But that's not going to happen."

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27US HI: County Settles Suit About Confiscated Pot PlantsThu, 07 Apr 2016
Source:Hawaii Tribune Herald (Hilo, HI) Author:Burnett, John Area:Hawaii Lines:Excerpt Added:04/09/2016

The county settled a lawsuit with a Puna man who claims police illegally confiscated the medical marijuana growing on his Fern Acres property almost four years ago.

The settlement with Brad Snow and three others was for a total of $4,800. Snow filed suit in May 2014, claiming his property was improperly raided during a marijuana eradication sweep June 14, 2012, even though the plaintiffs had medical marijuana cards and were in compliance with the law.

"The value of six months of marijuana growing in your backyard; they take it, and they don't give you anything for it," Snow said Tuesday. "They don't arrest you. They don't charge you. They just come and take your stuff. I did not have too many plants. I did not have too much marijuana."

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28 US HI: Lawmakers Want Decriminalizing Drugs ResearchedWed, 30 Mar 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Dayton, Kevin Area:Hawaii Lines:75 Added:03/31/2016

A House Resolution Requests a Study of Portugal, Which Stopped Prosecuting Users

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives want to study whether it would be feasible or wise to decriminalize possession of small quantities of illicit drugs for personal use in Hawaii.

House lawmakers Tuesday passed House Concurrent Resolution 127, which requests that the state Legislative Reference Bureau study the experience of Portugal. That European nation officially abolished all criminal penalties for possession of drugs for personal use in 2001.

Portugal still prosecutes major drug traffickers, but has made possession of small amounts of drugs an administrative violation that is handled without any criminal prosecutions. People who are caught with small quantities of drugs may be fined, referred to drug treatment or required to do community service.

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29 US HI: OPED: Crackdown On Doctor UnfairWed, 30 Mar 2016
Source:West Hawaii Today (HI) Author:Lohr, David Area:Hawaii Lines:61 Added:03/31/2016

Not only did your newspaper make a rush to judgment (front page headlines above the fold on March 19) the local small and big box pharmacies have followed your lead and refuse to fill his prescriptions.

I would like to know if this is a conspiracy or mere coincidence. On March 22 Dr. Arrington wrote a prescription to me for an opiate for which I feel very thankful and fortunate to have been made available for the last 25 years due to a very painful debilitating progressive disease that will continue to painfully progress until I draw my last breath.

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30US HI: Just How High Is Too High?Tue, 29 Mar 2016
Source:Hawaii Tribune Herald (Hilo, HI) Author:Bussewitz, Cathy Area:Hawaii Lines:Excerpt Added:03/29/2016

State Lawmakers Ask DOH to Research That Question

HONOLULU (AP) - State lawmakers are asking how much marijuana a driver can safely consume before getting behind the wheel of a car.

It's an issue they want to tackle now that the state is setting up medical marijuana dispensaries. So, Rep. Cindy Evans, D-North Kona, North Kohala and South Kohala, and 15 other lawmakers introduced a resolution asking the state Department of Health to study whether a person can safely drive while under the influence.

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31 US HI: LTE: Don't Fall For Spin From The LeftWed, 16 Mar 2016
Source:West Hawaii Today (HI) Author:Dickinson, Frank Area:Hawaii Lines:52 Added:03/18/2016

There were two letters in today's paper (March 9, "Vote Bernie") that were interesting and somewhat telling regarding the mentality of the left. The first from Stan White advocating Bernie for president. While neither he nor Clinton would be of any value to our country, justifying a vote for someone because they would help to legalize the use of marijuana in Hawaii is somewhat moronic.

Bernie, if elected, would attempt to bankrupt our nation with new and yet unheard of taxes in an effort to make everything "free" to those who are unwilling to work for a living. Perhaps Stan thinks his pot would be free also?

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32US HI: Lawmakers Push to Regulate Medical Marijuana TestingThu, 17 Mar 2016
Source:Hawaii Tribune Herald (Hilo, HI) Author:Riker, Marina Starleaf Area:Hawaii Lines:Excerpt Added:03/17/2016

HONOLULU (AP) - Industry experts say there are a lot of chemicals that could contaminate Hawaii's medical marijuana.

Dispensaries are set to open throughout the state in July, and lawmakers are pushing a broad bill to address many of the obstacles the industry is facing. One is how to regulate marijuana testing.

The proposed state law would set requirements for testing medical marijuana's potency and also would test for contaminants such as heavy metals, bacteria and pesticides, which industry experts say is necessary to ensure patient safety. Under state rules, dispensaries must send all marijuana products to a certified laboratory for testing.

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33 US HI: OPED: 'War on Drugs' Has Failed, and Here's What to DoWed, 16 Mar 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Cardoso, Fernando Henrique Area:Hawaii Lines:118 Added:03/16/2016

Outdated drug policies around the world have resulted in soaring drug-related violence, overstretched criminal justice systems, runaway corruption and mangled democratic institutions.

After reviewing the evidence, consulting drug policy experts and examining our own failures on this front while in office, we came to an unavoidable conclusion: The "war on drugs" is an unmitigated disaster.

FOR NEARLY a decade, we have urged governments and international bodies to promote a more humane, informed and effective approach to dealing with "illegal" drugs.

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34 US HI: Bill Would Offer Guidelines on Medical Marijuana TestingWed, 16 Mar 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:Hawaii Lines:58 Added:03/16/2016

Industry experts say there are a lot of chemicals that could contaminate Hawaii's medical marijuana.

Dispensaries are set to open in Hawaii in July, and state lawmakers are pushing a broad bill to address many of the obstacles the industry is facing. One is how to regulate marijuana testing.

The proposed Hawaii law would set requirements for testing medical marijuana's potency and would also test for contaminants such as heavy metals, bacteria and pesticides, which industry experts say is necessary to ensure patient safety. Under state rules, dispensaries must send all marijuana products to a certified laboratory for testing.

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35 US HI: Revocation of Doctor's License Fuels Hope for FastFri, 11 Mar 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Perez, Rob Area:Hawaii Lines:104 Added:03/11/2016

Nearly 2-1/2 years after California revoked a physician's medical license for misconduct, local regulators decided Thursday to revoke his Hawaii credentials.

But the chairman of the Hawaii Medical Board, which voted to yank the license of Dr. Daniel Susott, said he's hoping future cases involving Hawaii-licensed physicians disciplined in other states take less time to resolve.

"We should not see cases like this anymore," Dr. Niraj Desai, who heads the panel that makes final disciplinary decisions involving doctors, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser after Thursday's board meeting.

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36 US HI: PUB LTE: Vote BernieWed, 09 Mar 2016
Source:West Hawaii Today (HI) Author:White, Stan Area:Hawaii Lines:26 Added:03/10/2016

The concern about how the federal government will affect legalized medical cannabis (marijuana) dispensaries in the Hawaiian Islands (as a state of islands marijuana sales tricky for Hawaii, Feb. 29) is another reason to vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders on the March 26, Democratic Presidential Primary Caucus. Sanders, is committed to removing cannabis from its historically discredited Schedule I substance classification alongside heroin (while meth and cocaine are only Schedule II substances), which will allow interstate and interisland commerce without threat from the federal government.

Stan White

Dillon, Colo.


37US HI: State Lawmakers Call For Industrial Hemp ResearchThu, 03 Mar 2016
Source:Hawaii Tribune Herald (Hilo, HI) Author:Ashe, Ivy Area:Hawaii Lines:Excerpt Added:03/03/2016

Feasibility Study Suggests Crop Will 'Grow Like Gangbusters'

Bills that would allow the state Department of Agriculture to create pilot research programs for industrial hemp are moving through both chambers of the state Legislature.

"I'm very happy that the bill is alive at this point," state Sen. Russell Ruderman, D-Puna, said of SB 2659, the Senate measure he co-introduced.

SB 2659 and its House counterpart, HB 2555, are not companion bills, but have the same aim of establishing the DOA research program.

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38 US HI: LTE: Rules For Pot Outlets Seem SuspiciousMon, 29 Feb 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Tugadi, Teresa Mary Area:Hawaii Lines:36 Added:03/01/2016

It appears there are too many questionable hands adding ingredients to the pot regarding marijuana here in Hawaii.

Whatever is cooking is producing a stinking odor.

First, the state Department of Health said no to releasing names of those who will decide who gets a dispensary license.

Next, marijuana has to be grown in warehouses using electricity instead of taking advantage of our plentiful sunlight. The high cost of electricity would drive the consumer price sky-high.

Finally the state gets gigantic tax revenues due to marijuana's high sales price. So it seems that the state's revenue would increase from marijuana rather than gambling.

What does the state consider worse: gambling or increasing crime and the increased drug use that results from marijuana leading to harder drugs?

Teresa Mary Tugadi



39US HI: A Tricky SituationMon, 29 Feb 2016
Source:Hawaii Tribune Herald (Hilo, HI) Author:Riker, Marina Area:Hawaii Lines:Excerpt Added:02/29/2016

Geography of State May Prove Challenging for Marijuana Industry

HONOLULU - With less than five months to go before medical marijuana dispensaries can open in Hawaii, business owners could be facing unique obstacles in a state of islands separated by federal waters.

Dispensaries can open as soon as July 15, but industry experts say they could be confronted with challenges unlike those in other states, such as navigating rules that ban inter-island transport and limit the number of growers - all of which could cause marijuana shortages. A lack of labs to test the crop presents another challenge for state lawmakers.

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40 US HI: OPED: Remove Impediments to Research on MedicalWed, 24 Feb 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Sisley, Sue Area:Hawaii Lines:95 Added:02/24/2016

As a growing number of states recognize the importance of providing legal access to patients who benefit from medical marijuana, it becomes even more implausible that research is so uniquely - and unfairly - restricted.

Patients with conditions such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), epilepsy, chronic pain and migraines deserve research that can determine the optimum medication content and procedure.

Even with research that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), federal policies require a redundant, multi-agency review process that creates unnecessary red tape and wasteful government spending.

[continues 518 words]

41 US HI: Editorial: Stop Confusing Ground Rules for PotMon, 22 Feb 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:Hawaii Lines:80 Added:02/22/2016

As Hawaii gets close to opening its first medical marijuana dispensaries - some 16 years after medical cannabis was legalized - one might expect that the major issues have been worked out.

Not so. Even as the state Department of Health labors under a fast-approaching April 15 deadline to approve eight applications for dispensary permits, the Legislature is busy, too - trying to change the rules under which the Health Department is working.

It's the legislative equivalent of trying to change the tires on a car while it's speeding down the freeway - in other words, a bad idea.

[continues 467 words]

42US HI: State Medical Marijuana Bills Spark DebateMon, 22 Feb 2016
Source:Hawaii Tribune Herald (Hilo, HI) Author:Johnson, Kirsten Area:Hawaii Lines:Excerpt Added:02/22/2016

Police Question Outdoor Growing, Reduced Penalties

Several bills being considered by the state Legislature aim to make things easier for people in the state's medical marijuana program, but Big Island police have a few concerns.

Senate Bill 2523, introduced by Puna Democrat Sen. Russell Ruderman, as originally written would allow open-air growing operations, greenhouses and shade houses to serve as medical marijuana production centers - so long as operations aren't visible to the outside.

The idea, Ruderman said, is for plants to grow under natural sunlight "as they've evolved to do," rather than indoors under artificial lamps. The bill was amended Thursday to nix openair growing, and would now take effect starting in 2017, rather than this year.

[continues 544 words]

43 US HI: OPED: Pot Dispensary Permit Process Needs to Be ReopenedThu, 18 Feb 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Foster, Scott Area:Hawaii Lines:87 Added:02/18/2016

Several bills now moving through the Legislature seek to amend the medical marijuana law and the Department of Health's (DOH) interim administrative rules: House Bill 2707, an omnibus bill; HB 1808 on greenhouses; HB 2708 on background checks; Senate Bill 2176 on oversight committees; SB 2581, another omnibus bill; SB 2175 to add one license and regarding felonies; and SB 2581 on growing opportunities.

Some provisions would laudably remove restrictions on the use of greenhouses, shade houses or field growing - as long as they are enclosed by fencing, blocked from public view and have adequate security measures. Others would wisely modify criminal background checks for patients and caregivers and decriminalize marijuana from Felony B and C categories.

[continues 450 words]

44 US HI: PUB LTE: Award Pot Licenses As Fairly As PossibleThu, 18 Feb 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Tomar, Libby Area:Hawaii Lines:32 Added:02/18/2016

It will be highly lucrative for those groups awarded the medical marijuana dispensary licenses. Unfortunately, applicants who get chosen will be accused of undue influence and conflicts of interest. Those who don't will likely file lawsuits. What to do? I suggest we discard the panel to select the groups. Instead, have the state Department of Health choose the approved applicants in a fair way with an equal playing field.

Put the names of the approved applicants on ping-pong balls, put the balls in a bingo cage, turn the cage and have the governor pull out eight balls to determine the groups awarded the licenses.

It would be transparent and fair, and avoid conflicts of interest as well as lawsuits.

Libby Tomar



45 US HI: Weeding Through Pot BillsThu, 18 Feb 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:89 Added:02/18/2016

Lawmakers Are Considering Loosening Dispensary Rules and Allowing Greenhouses

Advanced practice registered nurses, who already prescribe prescription drugs, could start certifying patients for medical marijuana under a bill passed out of committee Wednesday.

House Bill 2707, one of roughly 60 bills related to medical marijuana, also permits pot samples to be transported interisland for testing and eliminates penalties for patients who use paraphernalia, such as pipes and vape pens, to take their medicine. Friday is an internal deadline to move bills to the next committee to keep them alive.

[continues 569 words]

46 US HI: PUB LTE: Aside From Secrecy, Why The Limit At All?Mon, 15 Feb 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Conrad, Sandra Area:Hawaii Lines:32 Added:02/15/2016

Remember "government of the people, by the people and for the people"?

The state Department of Health has the fate of thousands of medical marijuana patients in its hands.

Who decided that nobody is supposed to know who is on the dispensary application approval team, or who picked them ("Panel, process for pot licenses to remain secret," Star-Advertiser, Feb. 10)?

Sounds like Big Brother knows what is best for everyone.

And for that matter, why not just have free enterprise? The number of pharmacies per county should not be limited by the state.

Sandra Conrad

Ala Moana


47 US HI: Pot Panel Members' Names To Be ReleasedSat, 13 Feb 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:90 Added:02/13/2016

But Whether the Health Department Has Finalized the Committee Is Unclear

The state Health Department reversed course Friday, saying it will release the names of medical marijuana dispensary committee members before the panel grants Hawaii's first licenses for legal pot sales. On Tuesday the agency said it would keep secret the names of the panelists who are to select eight winning applications from the 66 that were submitted last month. The decision to keep the selection process secret drew a sharp rebuke from lawmakers. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser also threatened to sue the state if the names were not released.

[continues 612 words]

48 US HI: Newspaper Demands Pot Panelists' NamesFri, 12 Feb 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:105 Added:02/12/2016

Oahu Publications Says It Is Prepared to Sue If the Heath Department Refuses

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser told the state Health Department on Thursday it will file a lawsuit if the agency does not release by the close of business today the names of committee members who will award Hawaii's first medical marijuana dispensary licenses.

Jeff Portnoy, attorney for the Star-Advertiser's parent company, Oahu Publications Inc., delivered the notice to the Department of Health demanding it disclose the names.

[continues 661 words]

49 US HI: Editorial: Ditch The Secrecy On Pot LicensesFri, 12 Feb 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)          Area:Hawaii Lines:87 Added:02/12/2016

The people in the know clearly know the crucial fact about the new medical marijuana dispensary enterprise: It's going to be big business - very big.

That, as well as the fact that only eight licenses will be awarded, has turned those permits into valuable commodities.

And it's turned the process of selecting the licensees into a matter of public interest - one that should be done with as much transparency as possible.

Unfortunately, the state Department of Health, which is administering the fledgling program, has decided that the best course to fairness is to sequester the people making the decision: its review panel. In this way, DOH officials have said, the panelists would not be open to influence.

[continues 464 words]

50 US HI: Panel, Process For Pot Licenses To Remain SecretWed, 10 Feb 2016
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:108 Added:02/10/2016

The state Health Department said Tuesday it will neither release the names of committee members who will select the winners of Hawaii's eight medical marijuana dispensary licenses nor disclose any information about the selection process.

The department received 66 applications for the dispensary licenses and will determine by April 15 who is granted the right to open the first legal marijuana shops in Hawaii later this year.

"It is critical that the selection process be conducted without external influence and disruption, so that applicants are scored solely on their application and the merit criteria," said Janice Okubo, spokeswoman for the Department of Health. "To ensure the integrity of the selection process, DOH will not be releasing any additional information about applicants, the application process or evaluation panel at this time."

[continues 715 words]

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