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Sunday, February 03, 2019
Hawaii Family Forum Legislative Week in Review
By Hawaii Family Forum @ 3:25 PM :: 946 Views :: Drugs

Marijuana Bills Heating Up!

From Hawaii Family Forum Feb 2, 2019

This coming week several bills have come up that will not only decriminalize the use of marijuana, but also to legalize pot for recreational purposes.  Your Representative and Senator may or may not be sitting on a committee that is going to hear the bill, but they are most likely having conversations with other legislators about this issue.  

Rather than send out multiple notices, I am going to send this one notice with the bills that are being heard this week.  We are asking that you take two minutes out of your busy schedule and call your own Representative and Senator and tell them that you want it noted that you are a constituent and you are not only opposed to legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes, but also the decriminalization of it. You can click on the links in the prior sentence for detailed information and talking points.  If you want to submit testimony, the hearing notices are linked below:

If you care about this issue, we really need you to at least make those phone calls and show up at the hearing on Monday!  The Department of Health, the Police Department, Department of Transportation are strongly opposed and they need members of the community to stand with them.

Please make those calls!  

Mahalo for your attention to this very important issue.

Eva 

  *   *   *   *   *

Weekly Recap

From Hawaii Family Forum, Feb 1, 2019

Education on Palliative Care a Good Thing for Hawai'i Residents

Both Hawaii's House (Health) and Senate (Judiciary) committees have passed a bill that requires the Department of Health to establish a culturally competent Palliative Care pilot program to promote public education on palliative care and establish home- or community-based palliative care projects.  Hawaii Family Forum supported both bills.

On January 30, 2019, the Senate JDC Committee recommended that SB804 be PASSED, UNAMENDED. The votes in CPH were as follows: 7 Aye(s): Senator(s) Baker, S. Chang, J. Keohokalole, Nishihara, Ruderman, L. Thielen, Fevella; Aye(s) with reservations: none ; 0 No(es): none; and 0 Excused: none. 
STATUS:  The bill now heads to the Senate Ways and Means committee.

On January 31, 2019 The House committees on HLT recommended that HB 1447 be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes were as follows: 7 Ayes: Representative(s) Mizuno, B. Kobayashi, Belatti, Nakamura, San Buenaventura, Say, Ward;  and 1 Excused: Representative(s) Tokioka.
STATUS:  The bill now heads to the House Finance Committee.

Recreational Marijuana rears its ugly head

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard a bill to legalize recreational marijuana (SB686) on Thursday January 31, 2019. Hawaii Family Forum strongly OPPOSES this bill.

Here are some of the highlights of opposition testimony:

  • In Hawaii, 22 percent of fatal crashes that occurred during calendar years 2013 to 2017 resulted in positive findings for marijuana in drivers, bicyclists or pedestrians. (Department of Transportation)
  • Unless and until the federal government changes its laws regarding marijuana, the State should not expand the legalization of this drug to include non-medical use. (Hawaii State Office of the Attorney General)
  • The passage of this bill would lead to the increased availability of marijuana making it easier access for juveniles. Keeping drugs illegal reduces availability and lessens the willingness to use them. (Honolulu Police Department)
  • Marijuana is very harmful to adolescent health and development. Medical evidence is accumulating that short- and long-term recreational use of marijuana in adolescents can cause mental health problems, decrease lung function, lead to substance abuse disorders, increase use of other illicit drugs, and decrease the likelihood of completing high school or obtaining a college degree. (Hawaii Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics)
  • For more detailed information on why you should oppose recreational marijuana, click here.

Status:  The committee has DEFERRED decision making until Thursday, January 7, 2019. 

Action:  Call these five members and ask them to vote NO on SB 686.  

  • Sen. Karl Rhoads (Chair):  808.586.6130
  • Sen. Glenn Wakai (Vice-Chair):  808.586.8585
  • Sen. Mike Gabbard:  808.586.6830
  • Sen. Donna Mercado-Kim:  808.587.7200
  • Sen. Kurt Favella:  808.586.6360

What's Coming Up?

House to Hear Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

The House Health Committee has scheduled a hearing to decriminalize marijuana (HB434) for Tuesday, February 5th.  

ACTION:

  • Please consider submitting testimony in opposition to HB434.  
  • Click here for a list of House Health Committee members.  Please call them and ask them to OPPOSE HB 434, the marijuana decriminalization bill.
  • Come to the hearing on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 @ 9:00 a.m. in room 329.

Upcoming Legislative Deadlines


FEB 7 TRIPLE REFERRAL FILING (BILLS)

All bills referred to three or more committees must be filed so that they can be in their second-to-last committee by the following day. (Note: A referral to a joint committee counts as one committee referral.) This deadline allows ample time for successful bills to make their way to the last committee in their originating chamber by the First Lateral deadline.

FEB 15 FIRST LATERAL (BILLS)

All bills referred to more than one committee (i.e., those with multiple referrals) must move to their final committee in the originating chamber by this day.

FEB 21 - 27 MANDATORY 5-DAY RECESS

Hawaii's Constitution mandates a 5-day recess between the 20th and 40th days of the regular session. Neither the House of Representatives nor the Senate convene or assemble formally in chamber on recess days. Committee hearings do take place.

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