Hawaii wants to legalize cannabis in 2023

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Jeanné Kapela, representative of the State of Hawaii, announced during a press conference a plan to legalize cannabis which will include a social justice system.

“We all know, and Hawaiians know, that it is high time to legalize the recreational use of cannabis for adults in Hawaii. This year, we are on the precipice of history,” she explained.

“Following the recommendations of a cannabis policy task force, we now have a roadmap to legalize recreational cannabis on our islands,” Ms Kapela said, referring to a report released by the task force. on cannabis from the Hawaii Department of Health in December 2022.

Kapela did not detail a timeline for introducing the bill, but explained a few key points, including the ambition of the criminal records erasure program.

“Social equity is what forms the core of our proposal,” she explained.

In March 2021, the Hawaii Senate had approved two cannabis reform bills that ultimately did not advance.

Former Hawaii Governor David Ige was not a staunch supporter of cannabis legalization, and often voiced his hesitation due to its federal illegality. He did, however, allow a law to pass without his signature in January 2020, which decriminalized cannabis in the state.

Newly elected Governor Josh Green said in November 2022 that he would sign a legalization bill.

“I think people have already moved past this cultural concern,” Green said during an October 2022 debate.

“But here’s what I would do. First of all, if cannabis is legalized, it should be very carefully monitored, in the same way as cigarettes. We should take the $30-40 million in taxes we would get from this and invest in developing our mental health system for the good of all. »

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