Category Archives: health

Letter to the editor: Patients need legal pot dispensaries

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Honolulu Star Advertiser 5/28/13

Patients need legal pot dispensaries

Like the Star-Advertiser (“Medical cannabis belongs under health auspices,” Our View, May 23), we applaud the Legislature’s improvements to the state’s 13-year-old program. The measures passed this session are a promising start to a much-needed update.

You have the details backward, however, in your description of Senate Bill 642: The new law would increase the amount a patient may possess to 4 ounces, and replace the confusing “three mature, four immature plants” language with a simple seven plants total.

To further clarify, medical marijuana is not “prescribed (and) dispensed” at present. Physicians write a recommendation, not a prescription (which is not recognized under federal law), and marijuana is not legally “dispensed” by anyone.

A tightly regulated state-authorized system of distribution remains the highest priority for patients in Hawaii, especially for those, like many kupuna, who are unable to grow their own and are still forced to the black market to obtain their medicine.

Pamela Lichty
President, Drug Policy Action Group

MidWeek Magazine profiles Dr. David Barton: “Medical Cannabis Safe, Effective”

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http://www.midweek.com/medical-cannabis-safe-effective/

“Thankfully, the Hawaii State Legislature took a bold stand more than a decade ago, in the face of great political pressure, which still exists, and allowed for legal use by chronically ill and disabled people.

Chronic pain is the No. 1 medical condition in the United States, with an estimated 75 million to 100 million Americans living with it. At least 20 million to 25 million Americans live with severe pain. In Hawaii, it is conservatively estimated that more than 100,000 live with moderate to severe pain from all causes, including arthritic degeneration, trauma, metabolic conditions such as diabetes, and cancer or its treatment.”

Opinion poll on Hawaii marijuana laws shows voters open to medical dispensaries, decriminalization

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Read the reports: http://freshapproachhawaii.org/2013/01/19/opinion-poll-on-hawaii-marijuana-laws/

Respected local polling firm QMark Research was commissioned by the Drug Policy Action Group (the lobbying arm of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii)  to conduct a statewide, statistically significant poll of 600 Hawaii voters. The poll occurred between November 19 and December 4, 2012. Among its findings:

  •  78% support a dispensary system for medical marijuana.
  • 69% think that jail time for marijuana offenses is inappropriate.
  • 57% favor legalized, taxed and regulated marijuana, 20% higher than the last poll conducted in 2005.

Independent U.H. economist David Nixon was commissioned to update a 2005 study on the state of marijuana law enforcement in Hawaii. He was asked to examine the costs of current law enforcement policies, and to predict the economic impacts if Hawaii were to decriminalize or legalize, tax and regulate marijuana. Among his findings:

  • Hawaii has seen a surge in marijuana arrests since 2004. Possession arrests have increased almost 50%, and distribution arrests have almost doubled.
  • Hawaii’s marijuana laws overly impact males under the age of 25 and people of native Hawaiian descent. These groups were arrested in numbers disproportionate to their share of the population.
  • By decriminalizing marijuana, Hawaii could redirect over $9 M annually in law enforcement costs.
  • By legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana, Hawaii could conservatively add an additional estimated $11 M in yearly revenues.

New infographic – Hawaii’s medical marijuana program by the numbers

Many statistics get thrown around when people talk about Hawaii’s medical marijuana program. Looking for a fast guide to the facts – with citations? Here it is!

http://dpfhi.wordpress.com/hawaiis-medical-marijuana-program-by-the-numbers-infographic/

U.S. House Members File Bipartisan “Respect States’ Marijuana Laws Act”

“This bill is a win for federalism and a win for public safety,” said Neill Franklin, a former Maryland narcotics detective and now executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “In a time of bitter partisanship, it is quite telling that both Republicans and Democrats are calling for respect for the reform of marijuana laws. Polls show this is a winning issue for politicians, and change is inevitable. We applaud those legislators who, rather than trying to impede this progress, stand with the vast majority of Americans who believe these laws should be respected.”

http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2013/apr/12/house_members_file_bipartisan_re

New report documents nationwide racial, economic disparities in incarceration

Newly released report: “The reasoning is clear: the combination of excessive incarceration and harsh punishment is a blunt instrument for social control that perpetuates the country’s painful, historical legacy of injustice and inequality, and deprives masses of black and brown people unfairly of freedom and opportunity. It is the site of today’s civil rights struggle.”

http://www.aclu.org/criminal-law-reform/ending-mass-incarceration-charting-new-justice-reinvestment