Updated: February 3, 2023
In 2012, voters in Colorado and Washington voted to legalize and regulate the production, possession, and distribution of cannabis for persons age twenty-one and older. Following Colorado and Washington’s lead, Alaska, California, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, and Vermont subsequently legalized small amounts of cannabis for adult recreational use. As of 2020, twenty-one states and three United States territories have legalized recreational cannabis. (Check out this 2020 report on the real impact of marijuana legislation that you won’t hear from Hawaii’s senators.)
There are many reasons to oppose the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. Here are just a few:
- Even though some states have legalized marijuana for medical (or even recreational) purposes, it is still illegal to possess, use or distribute marijuana according to federal law.
- Marijuana use WILL increase if it is made available. Hawaii’s keiki will be the ones who will suffer the most. Hawaii already has a higher than average youth usage of e-cigarettes. It is irresponsible to think they will NOT access marijuana.
(Story from KITV, August, 2020)
(Honolulu Advertiser, February 2021)
- Today’s marijuana is not the 1970’s version of “Maui Wowee” or “Kona Gold.” THC contents are astronomically higher.
- Drugged driving will plague Hawaii’s roads. In their 2019 testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Hawaii Department of Transportation reported that “22 percent of fatal crashes that occurred during calendar years 2013 to 2017 resulted in positive findings for marijuana in drivers, bicyclists or pedestrians. ”
- Under legalization, a black market will still sell tax-free marijuana to adults and youth.
- According to the testimony of the Honolulu Police Department (February 19, 2021 to Senate PSM) “one ounce of marijuana is equivalent to approximately 50 cigarettes (joints). Marijuana plants can grow in excess of eight feet with numerous branches off one root system. It is possible for one plant to produce several ounces of marijuana. In addition, the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol in marijuana edibles can vary greatly, which could lead to abuse and adverse effects.”