The 2015 legislative session began on January 21st 2015. This is likely to be a very big year for marijuana issues. We have collected a list of bills with the latest information. Feel free to click on the bill number to be taken to the legislature’s website to read the text. Underlined bills are the ones we support most strongly. If you want to receive our periodic action alerts and updates, please sign up for our mailing list.
Tax and Regulate (Legalization) Bills
- HB717 – Taxing and Regulating marijuana. This bill tasks the Department of Taxation with the licensing, rulemaking, and administration of a new legal recreational marijuana industry. It also specifies a $100 civil penalty, rather than criminal penalties, for the violation of the rules established by the Department of Taxation. It also specifies that it will not limit any rights or privileges of medical marijuana patients and caregivers. The bill creates a tax rate of 20% with 2% going to drug abuse prevention programs, public security progrms, and the administrative expenses of the department of taxation. Introduced by MCKELVEY, THIELEN, C. Lee, Mizuno, San Buenaventura.
- Referred to: JUD, FIN
1/28/15 HB717: Referred to JUD, FIN, referral sheet 2
- SB873 – Taxing and Regulating marijuana. This bill tasks the Department of Taxation with the licensing, rulemaking, and administration of a new legal recreational marijuana industry. This is a relatively simple approach that defers many of the important questions to the department of taxation to determine. This bill allows personal growers to grow up to six plants, as long as not more than three are “mature,” a distinction that has proven troublesome in the medical marijuana field. Moreover unlike in HB717 the tax revenue from the program is not earmarked or deposited into any specific fund, which may be a notable weakness of the program going forward. Introduced by ENGLISH, GALUTERIA, RUDERMAN, Dela Cruz.
- Referred to: PSM/CPN, JDL/WAM
1/28/15 SB873: Referred to PSM/CPN, JDL/WAM.
- SB383 / HB841 / HB889 / HB1371 - Repeal of marijuana laws. This bill removes prohibitions against marijuana from the law, making it legal to grow and possess, but illegal to give to a minor. This does not establish any regulation or tax structure for marijuana.
- SB383 Introduced by TANIGUCHI (Introduced by request of another party)
- Referred to: PSM/AGL/JDL, WAM
1/26/15 SB383: Referred to PSM/AGL/JDL, WAM.
- HB841 Introduced by CREAGAN (by request)
- Referred to: HLT , JUD
1/28/15 HB841: Referred to HLT, JUD, referral sheet 3
- HB889 Introduced by SOUKI (by request)
- Referred to: JUD , FIN
1/28/15 HB889: Referred to JUD, FIN, referral sheet 3
- HB1371 introduced by: SAN BUENAVENTURA, CREAGAN, Ing, Rhoads
FizzBuzz in One MySQL Statement
- SB596 – Decriminalization. This is perhaps the strongest of the many decriminalization bills. Like the others it features a fine of $100 for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. It applies only to people over the age of 18 so as to ensure that minors are still subject to the same procedures as before. This is important because previous attempts at decriminalization were criticized for sending the wrong message to youth, or for preventing an important vector of education for minors about marijuana. This bill contains a number of important protections including protections for parolees and people on probation, as well as protections for paraphernalia. It also specifies that medical marijuana patients are not subject to this civil violation.
- SB666 – Decriminalization. Of the several decriminalization bills introduced this session, this bill is one of the more robust. It includes provisions pertaining to enforcing civil fines, which has been a point of contention in the past, as well as protection for paraphernalia, which in some other states has limited the effectiveness of decrim bills. It also has protections so that small amounts of marijuana shall not cause the revocation of parole or probation.
- Introduced by ESPERO, GALUTERIA.
- Referred to: JDL
1/26/15 SB666: Referred to JDL.
- SB708 / SB681- Decriminalization. This is a decriminalization bill that establishes a civil penalty for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, and makes common sense changes to the law to prevent marijuana from causing the revocation of parole or probation. The bill contains no specific protections for paraphernalia, which is an issue that has been a problem with decriminalization laws in other states.
- HB372 – Tiered Decriminalization. This is a decriminalization bill which allows for rising fines: the first offense brings a $100 fine, the second brings a $250 fine, and the third and future fines carry a $500 fine. Introduced by SAN BUENAVENTURA, CREAGAN, Mizuno, Onishi.
- SB879 – Simple Decriminalization. This is a bill that establishes a civil violation (with a $100 fine) for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. While this is a very simple decriminalization bill, it does not have certain features that are important in a decriminalization bill, such as protection for paraphernalia.
- Introduced by ENGLISH, DELA CRUZ, ESPERO, INOUYE, RUDERMAN, Baker, Shimabukuro.
- Referred to: JDL
1/28/15 SB879: Referred to JDL.
Other Marijuana Bills
For clarity, we have not included bills relating only to the medical marijuana program. For up to date information on Medical Marijuana bills please visit the Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawaii.
To ensure that the above information is readable, as bills miss deadlines (and many of them will) we will remove them from the above list and they can be viewed here. While those bills are considered “dead” for the 2015 legislative session, they may still be alive in the 2016 session.