Hawaii Bill to Make State Refer to “Medical Marijuana” as “Medical Cannabis” Passes Two House Committees Unanimously

Two House committee in Hawaii have unanimously passed a bill to change the way the state refers to “medical marijuana”.

[Update: According to Senator Mike Gabbard the measure has now been passed unanimously by the full House of Representatives.]

Senate Bill 786 has been passed by both the House Health Committee and the House Judiciary Committee, both unanimously. The measure, filed by Senator Mike Gabbard (D), has already been passed by the Senate with a 25 to 0 vote. It will soon be up for a vote in the full House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 786 would amend “Hawaii Revised Statutes and Hawaii Administrative Rules to substitute references to “medical marijuana” and like terms with “medical cannabis” and like terms”, and “Requires the department of health to make all conforming revisions to documents, letterhead, websites, and other necessary items by December 31, 2019.”

The measure states this change to be necessary because “”Marijuana” has no scientific basis but carries prejudicial implications rooted in racial stereotypes from the early twentieth century era when cannabis use was first criminalized in the United States.” The term “cannabis”, however, “carries no such negative connotations and is a more accurate and appropriate term to describe a plant that has been legalized for medicinal use in Hawaii, twenty-seven other states, the District of Columbia, and the United States territories of Guam and Puerto Rico.”

The full text of the one-page bill can be found by clicking here.

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  1. This is great and all but, what does this really do for the Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) community that has been deeply impacted by the “war on drugs” and locked out of the medical Cannabis business in Hawai’i? What about equity and business ownership in an industry that they have historically been a large part of and gone to prison for?

    • Kai on April 5, 2017 at 6:07 pm
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    Well, this is a great step but, how does it bring equity to the Hawai’i medicinal Cannabis program. What about the thousands of Kanaka Maoli entreprenuers who have been deeply effected by the failed “war on drugs” and are shut out of the industry?

  2. Aloha e Anthony, Thanks for your post. It passed unanimously in the House today. Mahalo and best wishes, Senator Mike Gabbard aka “Tulsi’s Dad”

    1. Thank you Senator Gabbard – we’ve added an updated to the article noting that it has now passed the full House!

      Best,
      Anthony

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