Hawaii Lawmaker Aims to Decriminalize Marijuana

January 18th, 2010 – A Hawaii lawmaker plans to introduce legislation this week jkalanienglishthat would decriminalize adult possession of marijuana, and he’s pointing directly at the Obama administration to justify his decision, according to a published report.

But State Sen. J. Kalani English, a Democrat, isn’t stopping there. A second bill slated for introduction this week would also legalize and levy a tax on medical marijuana dispensaries, which are currently prohibited even though marijuana for medicinal use is not.

“My point is we already legalized medical marijuana, so we should allow the counties to (regulate) the dispensaries . . .” he told The Honolulu Advertiser. “(President Barack) Obama directed the Department of Justice to honor states’ rights, as it should be. It’s a complete reversal of the previous doctrine that the federal trumps the states.”

The paper noted that Hawaii is facing a $1.2 billion budget shortfall for fiscal year 2011. While English did not predict how much revenue would be obtained by taxing medical marijuana, he told the Advertiser that it would be “significant.”

In February, 2009, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that it would be the Obama administration’s policy to not arrest medical marijuana patients, allowing states to determine how best to handle the issue. By Stephen C. Webster. Source.

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