2015 Legislative Session

UPDATE:

SB666 and SB708 were deferred indefinitely. SB879 passed with amendments. These amendments will bring a section removing criminal penalties into SB879 from one of the other bills, making it more effective as a decriminalization measure. The new version of that bill will be available here.

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.

Decriminalization Bills

 

  • SB879Simple 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
      2/26/15 SB879: The committee(s) on JDL recommend(s) that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes in JDL were as follows: 6 Aye(s): Senator(s) Keith-Agaran, Shimabukuro, Espero, Gabbard, L. Thielen, Slom; Aye(s) with reservations: none ; 0 No(es): none; and 1 Excused: Senator(s) Ihara.
  • SB596Decriminalization.  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 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. It now also contains a provision that removes these protections if a person is found to be in possession of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school. This is problematic as that definition applies to nearly all of Honolulu.
    • Introduced by: RUDERMAN, ENGLISH, ESPERO, GABBARD, SHIMABUKURO.
    • Referred to: HTH, JDL
      2/20/15 SB596: Report adopted; Passed Second Reading, as amended (SD 1) and referred to JDL.

Tax and Regulate (Legalization) Bills

  • 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.
    • HB1371 introduced by: SAN BUENAVENTURA, CREAGAN, Ing, Rhoads
    • Referred to JUD
      FizzBuzz in One MySQL Statement
  • HB1203Authorizing counties to legalize marijuana. This bill allows counties to pass an ordinance allowing for the cultivation, sale, and possession of marijuana by adults for any reason. While this is an interesting approach to legalizing marijuana, there are several problems with this approach. The lack of statewide regulation may present problems regarding federal interference, and the fact that the bill excludes ballot initiatives means that it may not bring about marijuana legalization as quickly or uniformly as its drafters hope.
    • Introduced in the House by: CREAGAN
    • Referred to: JUD
      2/4/15 HB1203: Re-referred to JUD, referral sheet 8

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.