Please find our end of 2017 summary below!
In order to help DPFHI continue growing as Hawaii’s leading advocacy organization for sensible, compassionate and effective drug policies, please consider making a tax deductible contribution to our organization by either using the PayPal button below or by mailing a check. Thank you and Mahalo!
To make a DONATION:
Please make all checks payable to “Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii” and mail them to:Drug Policy Forum of Hawai’i PO Box 83 Honolulu, HI 96810
Aloha DPFHI Supporters:
2017 has been quite a year for drug policy reform, including medical cannabis, in Hawai’i; and as the primary advocacy group, we wanted to extend our sincerest mahalos to all of you for working so hard to make it all happen. We could not do it without you.
Slowly but surely, together we are helping to craft a more sensible, humane and public health oriented drug policy approach for Hawai’i. Simultaneously, we are working with our allies including yourselves to shape a medical cannabis system that will serve patients, both local and visiting.
In 2017, our drug policy advocacy successes included the following:
- Securing the passage of the drug paraphernalia reform bill of 2017 – this long overdue reform reduced the penalty for personal possession of paraphernalia to a civil violation with a maximum $500 fine instead of a class C felony that carried a potential 3-5 year sentence and a $10,000 fine. This kind of decriminalization is exactly what public health experts recommend in order to view drugs through the necessary public health lens rather than a criminal justice one that had led to mass incarceration, particularly in communities of color;
- Participating in the Hawai’i Opioid Initiative, led by the Hawai’i Department of Health, working to ensure that Hawai’i continues to be spared the ravages of the worst part of the mainland opioid epidemic, while addressing the very real problems, including fighting Hepatitis C, here at home with evidence-based policies rather than an enforcement only approach;
- Raising awareness of how medical cannabis can help address the opioid epidemic;
- Helping get the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) pilot project off the ground, including via funding from the state budget. This pre-arrest program will begin operating in Chinatown in 2018, and aims to refer certain at-risk individuals to treatment instead of having them arrested. LEAD is grassroots-led effort and a partnership with law enforcement to help rather than lock up drug users, many of whom also suffer from mental health issues and are houseless. LEAD will work in concert with other efforts and hopefully help provide further impetus for criminal justice reform;
- Conducting direct education on the use of medical cannabis, including participation in Continuing Education (CE) and Continuing Medical Education (CME) events for Hawai’i Cannabis Expo as well as giving a presentation to the Epilepsy Foundation and numerous other events;
- Distributing widely both printed and electronic copies of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawai’i’s updated Medical Cannabis Guide for Patients and Health Care Professionals;
- Championing the passage of legislation to add new qualifying conditions for the use of medical cannabis, increasing the plant count for patients and more;
- Participating regularly at the Act 230 Medical Cannabis Legislative Oversight Working Group, including chairing the patient issues subcommittee and being on the education subcommittee, resulting in the adoption of numerous recommendations to help patients and increase education;
- Responding rapidly to alarming reports that medical cannabis patients were being denied firearms permits for no justifiable reason, testifying at the Honolulu Police Commission regarding the issue and achieving a partial reversal.
In order to help us continue these efforts, including the knowledgeable and dynamic work of our organizer Wendy Gibson, RN, we humbly ask for your support in 2018, and respectfully request that you make a tax deductible donation of any amount via this link, or by check (see below), before the end of 2017.
In return we commit to being there for you and engaging in continuous advocacy at the State Legislature, County Councils and elsewhere as well as through our direct education efforts. Together we can work against the failed War on the Drugs by reforming bail for pre-trial detainees, legalizing adult use cannabis, reducing drug possession penalties, reforming the civil asset forfeiture program and continuing to put the well being of the drug user at the center of any effort.
Mahalo nui for your consideration of supporting DPFHI as well as our project, the Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawai’i (MCCHI.) We are truly excited about working together in 2018! Happy holidays!
Carl Bergquist, Executive Director, DPFHI
on behalf of MCCHI & DPFHI
If you want to mail in your support, please make any check payable to “Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii” and send it to:
Drug Policy Forum of Hawai’i PO Box 83 Honolulu, HI 96810