Maui News

Legislative Committees Overlook Hawai‘i Cannabis Bill

March 1, 2019, 12:53 PM HST
* Updated March 1, 1:33 PM
Listen to this Article
1 minute
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

A Hawai‘i cannabis legalization bill died when lawmakers didn’t consider it in time for a deadline on Friday, March 1, 2019.

According to an AP report, “the bill had to pass the Senate Health Committee and Senate Ways and Means Committee” by today’s deadline so it could be considered by the full Senate.

But the Health Committee did not schedule a meeting on Friday, March 1, to consider any bills, “effectively killing the marijuana legalization measure.”

Puna Rep. Joy San Buenaventura said she doesn’t think it makes sense to push the measure through without Gov. David Ige’s support.

“I also think that we have enough folks who are sitting around the table who are saying ‘Let’s do it right,'” said House Majority Leader Rep. Della Au Bellati.” Let’s not just rush into things and let’s do it right.”


Twelve states and the District of Columbia have recreational marijuana laws. All except Vermont did it by ballot initiative, an option not available in Hawai‘i.


The Hawai‘i Legislature approved medical marijuana in 2000, four years after California did—it took Hawai‘i lawmakers 15 years later to set up a dispensary system.

“It’s a huge step … just to have that conversation started,” said Carl Bergquist, the executive director of the pro-legalization Drug Policy Forum of Hawai‘i

E-Mail Newsletters Receive daily or weekly updates via e-mail. Subscribe Now
News Alerts Breaking news alerts on your mobile device. Get the App


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Maui Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments