About usThe Drug Policy Forum of Hawai‘i is a non-profit organization founded in 1993 to educate policymakers and the public about effective ways of addressing drug issues in Hawai‘i with sensible and humane policies that reduce harm, expand treatment options, and adopt evidence-based practices while optimizing the use of scarce resources. The Drug Policy Forum of Hawai‘i envisions a just society where drug laws are grounded in science, compassion, and public health, and where criminalization is reserved for those who pose a genuine danger to public safety.
Some Excellent Resources
- Press Release: With the Passage of Drug Paraphernalia Reform, Hawaiʻi is Poised for Brighter, Healthier Future
- World-renowned Medical Cannabis Researcher Speaks on Oahu at 3 Events This Week!
- Press Release: Drug War Redux, US Attorney-General Embraces the Past as Hawai’i is Poised to Move Forward
- Updated Version of Medical Cannabis Guide for Patients and Health Care Professionals!
- Join us on Maui! Drug Policy Forum Comes to Wailuku 4/4 – Updates on Hawaii’s Drug Laws, Including Medical Cannabis!
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Press Release: With the Passage of Drug Paraphernalia Reform, Hawaiʻi is Poised for Brighter, Healthier Future
Aloha Drug Policy Forum Supporters:
This coming week, please consider attending any or all of the following FREE events focused on medical cannabis. You can register via the eventbrite links below. One of the medical cannabis dispensary licensees, Mānoa Botanicals, is sponsoring the events.
While they are intended for somewhat difference audiences, they will all feature the world-renowned cannabis researcher, Dr. Sue Sisley. Dr. Sisley has conducted pioneering research on the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with medical cannabis. As of 2015, PTSD is one of the debilitating qualifying conditions here in Hawai’i for which doctors and advance practice nurses can certify a patient to use medical cannabis! That was only possible thanks to your support. Mahalo nui!
1) The Future of Medical Cannabis in Hawaii @ Temple Emanu-El, Wednesday, July 12th at 7pm
2) The Vitality of Medical Cannabis in Scientific Studies @ The UH Cancer Center Friday, July 14th at 5pm
Location: Sullivan Room, University of Hawaii Cancer Center
701 Ilalo St., Honolulu, HI 96813
$5 cash-only parking in Parking Lot C or free street parking available; see map
3) Understanding the Benefits of Medical Cannabis @ The Honolulu Wellness Center Sunday July 16th at 6pm
*****FREE PARKING is available in the guest lot. Take a right as you go up the driveway. Once parked, take the pedestrian walkway to get to the Nauru Tower. Once you enter the lobby, sign your vehicle into the register, then walk to the left towards the security desk. You’ll see a private elevator that will take you directly up to the Honolulu Wellness Center.
Press Release: Drug War Redux, US Attorney-General Embraces the Past as Hawai’i is Poised to Move Forward
Drug War Redux: US Attorney-General Embraces the Past as Hawai’i is Poised to Move Forward
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 12 May 2017
CONTACT: Carl Bergquist, Executive Director, Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii
(808) 518-3213; email@example.com
HONOLULU, HI – Today, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions made good on previous promises and issued a directive to all US Attorneys ordering them to seek more uniform, harsher sentences including for non-violent drug offenders. The Drug Policy Forum of Hawai’i (DPFHI) rejects this time traveling to past failures that have such a racially disparate impact. Hawai’i like most of the country is actually moving in the opposite direction by embracing a compassionate, commonsensical and evidence-based approach to criminal justice. Further, the US Supreme Court in a string of rulings has called into question federal sentencing guidelines and other aspects related to mandatory minimums.
In its recently concluded 2017 session, the Hawai’i State Legislature overwhelmingly passed a law (HB1501) reducing the penalty for non-violent drug paraphernalia offenses from a maximum five year sentence with a hefty fine to a civil violation with a maximum fine of $500. This was done out of recognition that locking up nonviolent drug users not only overburdens our jails and prisons – the conditions of which the ACLU of Hawai’i have called unconstitutional – but that criminalizing drug use is no way to help someone in need of treatment.
As recently as last month, the US Supreme Court issued yet another ruling that highlights issues with constantly seeking harsher penalties. In a quest to seek more uniform sentences, the US had been seeing longer sentences for nonviolent drug and other offenses and an elimination of judge discretion to take individual circumstances into account. In 2005, the Court ruled that the sentencing guidelines should be advisory and not mandatory, restoring judge discretion. Then this April, the Supreme Court ruled the judges do not need to hand out multiple mandatory sentences.
In other words, this “Island in the Pacific”, many other states and the US Supreme Court are on a path at odds with AG Sessions retrogressive policy. This is why we are urging Governor David Ige to sign HB1501 into law forthwith, sending a strong signal that Hawai’i understands that public safety is enhanced by a smart approach that instead of criminalizing drug use, takes public health into account and reserves resources for the most serious offenders.
Join us on Maui! Drug Policy Forum Comes to Wailuku 4/4 – Updates on Hawaii’s Drug Laws, Including Medical Cannabis!
Dedicated to safe, responsible, humane and effective drug policies since 1993
MAUI EVENT! Please Save the Date.
On Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 (from 6pm to 9pm)
Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii will present:
“Talk Story—What’s Happening with Drug Laws in Hawaii?”
Please join us for a FREE evening of Talk Story with Pamela Lichty MPH, President and Wendy Gibson R.N., Field Organizer for The Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii.
We encourage you to join in the discussions about ongoing efforts to make meaningful changes to Hawaii’s Drug Laws.
Learn about legislation on Marijuana Decriminalization, Legalization, Drug Paraphernalia, Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) project, and other bills in motion.
Get updates on Hawaii’s Medical Marijuana (Cannabis) Program and the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Systems, related legislation and ongoing educational efforts.
WHERE: Wailuku–Velma McWayne Santos– Community Center.
395 Waena Street, Wailuku 96793 (between Lower Main St. and Eha St.). Parking is FREE. Meeting Room and Restrooms are ADA Accessible.
This event is Open to the Public and FREE.
Donations are graciously accepted.
Light Refreshments will be served.
For more information, please call (808) 321-4503, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org,
or visit our Website at dpfhi.org.
You can also LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii (@DPFHawaii)
Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawaii (@MCcoalitionHI)
Please see the document below for our 2017 legislative priorities. As soon as specific legislation is introduced, we will provide you with bill numbers and action items.
May 2017 be the year that Hawai’i finally decriminalizes possession of cannabis for adult personal use as well as the possession of drug paraphernalia. Imua!
We wish you a Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!
Patients Out of Time will be presenting “The Endocannabinoid System and Cannabis: What Healthcare Professionals Need to Know“. This all day seminar is the perfect opportunity to expand the number of Advance Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) in Hawai‘i who are willing and qualified to certify and renew medical cannabis patients.
The general public, patients, interested individuals, and doctors are also welcome to attend to expand their knowledge of the medical uses of cannabis!
Date: Saturday, November 19, 2016
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. [Registration from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. – drinks and snacks will be available]. Lunch will not be provided.
Location: Hawai‘i Dispensary Alliance, Real Office Centers, 1110 Nu‘uanu Ave. #6, Honolulu, HI. PLEASE NOTE: This venue is not wheelchair-accessible.
Contact Hours: Provider approved by the CA Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #16044, for 6 contact hours
Cost: $100.00 for all attendees until November 18, $120 to register at the door on November 19. A syllabus will be provided for all attendees registering to claim CEU credits.
Description: This timely and provocative seminar will include an overview of cannabis, the various cannabinoids (endogenous, phyto-cannabinoids and pharmaceutical cannabinoid products) and the newly discovered endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) that is present in all humans. By understanding the ECS, it becomes more clear as to how and why cannabis is a safe and effective medication for a wide array of illnesses and conditions. The healthcare professional’s role in patient care and education regarding the safe use of cannabis, including ingestion methodologies and interactions with prescription opiates, will be discussed. State and federal laws regarding cannabis as medicine will also be presented.
The event will feature:
Presenter: Mary Lynn Mathre, RN, MSN, CARN, is a medical cannabis consultant and addictions nurse consultant, co-founder of Patients Out of Time, and Past President of the American Cannabis Nurses Association.
Presenter: Wendy Gibson, RN, BSN, a cannabis nurse and ACNA member who is involved in helping shape medical cannabis laws and educating health care professionals in Hawai‘i. She happily serves as the Field Organizer for The Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawai‘i and The Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii.
Presenter: Stephen P. Pingree, Tax Defense Attorney and Alliance member. Stephen has legal and business experience with the Medical Marijuana (MMJ) law and regulations in the State of Nevada; as well as Federal and other states’ MJ laws and regulations. He is well versed in the Hawai‘i MMJ law (HRS 329D) and DOH MMJ Rules and Regulations.
When Will Hawaii’s Patients Be Able to Buy Medical Marijuana?
That was the question answered by panelists on Thursday, April 9, 8:00 pm during the Insights on PBS interactive discussion. This show will be aired on Sunday, April 12 at 2:00 pm.
Panelists were: Representative Della Au Belatti, Pamela Lichty, President of the Drug Policy Forum, Doug Chin , Attorney General, and Alan Shinn, Executive Director of the Coalition for a Drug Free Hawaii.
If you missed it, you can VIEW it by clicking HERE.
Aloha Friends and Supporters,
For Twenty-One years the Drug Policy Forum (DFPHI) has served as Hawaii’s voice in creating just, sensible, and compassionate drug policies.
You may know us from our two marijuana related projects that we work on with the ACLU of Hawaii:
The Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawai‘i a group supporting improvements to the medical cannabis laws in the state and Fresh Approach Hawai‘i that supports the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana for adults.
I’m writing today to ask you for your help, by making a year-end donation, so that we may continue our advocacy activities in 2015. We need your tax-deductible donation today (if possible) to continue serving as your voice for drug policy reform.
2014 has been a huge year for drug law reform efforts!
In 2014 we made a lot of headway on drug law reforms, especially on the cannabis front:
- Two more states (Oregon and Alaska) and D.C. voted to legalize marijuana!
- The Department of Justice strengthened its “hands-off” policies toward the 23 states with medical marijuana programs. And, congress voted to prevent the DOJ, (including the DEA), from spending any money to fight medical marijuana in these states.
- The DOJ announced that Native American tribes can produce and sell cannabis on tribal lands if they wish to- even if the state they are in does not permit it.
- More and more states are decriminalizing cannabis, including eyebrow-raisers like Ohio and Nebraska, and we’ll be working to pass good decriminalization legislation in Hawai‘i Nei too.
A lot has been happening in the criminal justice system as well:
- A .G. Eric Holder has spoken out on over-incarceration and on ways to avoid imprisoning non-violent (usually drug-related) offenders.
- California’s newly passed Prop 47 is implementing early releases and diversion into more appropriate community-based programs.
Across the nation, it seems like we are riding one big wave–But Hawai‘i needs to catch up!
The DPFH has been working hard to create a long overdue medical cannabis dispensary system in Hawai‘i and we hope that, with your help, 2015 will be the year. Our successes in 2014 helped create the Dispensary Task force, whose recommendations will help us fix this gap in the medical marijuana law.
We anticipate positive changes in 2015 when the medical cannabis program moves from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health , a department that understands public health outreach and patient privacy protections.
We’re also working on some important issues (that aren’t cannabis-related): Because the the leading cause of accidental death in Hawai’i is from drug overdoses (from both legal and illegal we are promoting The Good Samaritan/Medical Amnesty law. This will give a limited amnesty to people who call 911 in the event of an overdose. This approach has saved many lives elsewhere by preventing overdose deaths.
So there’s lots on our plate and we are feeling energized, but to achieve some of these goals we need your help.
A donation to the Drug Policy Forum of Hawai’i is tax deductible and can be done a number of ways
- through our website: http://dpfhi.org.
- By clicking here:
- You can mail a check to:
Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii,
PO Box 83
Honolulu, HI 96810
- If you don’t need a tax deduction, we could use your help with our lobbying efforts. To do that, please send a check to our, our 501(c)(4) lobbying organization at:
the Drug Policy Action Group
PO Box 83
Honolulu, HI 96810.
- A donation of your TIME as a volunteer would also be most welcome!