Hawaii Bill Adding Five New Medical Cannabis Conditions Passes House Committee

The Hawaii House Health Committee has passed a measure that wold expand the state’s medical cannabis program. They also unanimously passed a bill to change state law to refer to “medical marijuana” as “medical cannabis”.

Senate Bill 174, which has already passed the Senate with a unanimous 25 to 0 vote, passed the House Health Committee yesterday; the vote was 4 to 2. The proposal would add lupus, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, arthritis and autism as conditions that qualify someone to become a legal medical cannabis patient.

Currently medical cannabis use in Hawaii is limited to those with cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS or a “chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces” cachexia, severe pain or nausea, seizures, sever muscle spasms or post traumatic stress disorder.

The full text of the measure can be found by clicking here.

The House Health Committee also passed a bill that would amend “Hawaii Revised Statutes and Hawaii Administrative Rules to substitute references to “medical marijuana” and like terms with “medical cannabis” and like terms”. The committee passed Senate Bill 786 with a unanimous 6 to 0 vote. Like Senate Bill 174, SB 786 has already passed the Senate with a unanimous vote.

According to the bill’s text, the term marijuana has “no scientific basis”, and “carries prejudicial implications rooted in racial stereotypes”. “Cannabis”, however, has “no such negative connotations.”

Both measures must now pass one more committee before they can be voted on by the full Senate. If the Senate chooses the pass them, they will be sent to Hawaii Governor David Ige. Governor Ige would then have the option of signing them into law, allowing the, to become law without his signature, or vetoing them. If he was to veto them, the legislature could override it with a 2/3rds majority vote.

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