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Hawaii formally turned the 26th state to decriminalize possession of small quantities of marijuana on Tuesday, with the brand new laws set to take impact on January 11, 2020.
Underneath the brand new legislation, individuals caught with three ounces or much less of weed could be punished with a $130 tremendous however will face no jail time.
Hawaii’s state legislature handed the invoice in Might, sending it to Governor David Ige’s desk after beforehand turning into the primary state to approve medical marijuana again in 2000.
Though the Democratic governor declined to signal the invoice, he didn’t veto the laws by the required deadline both, basically permitting the decriminalization proposal to change into legislation. Final month, Ige stated he went “forwards and backwards” on his resolution, describing it as a “very powerful name.”
The state’s present legislation classifies marijuana possession as a petty misdemeanor that carries as much as a $1,000 tremendous.
A small victory within the ongoing battle
The Aloha State is the third to decriminalize marijuana possession this yr alongside New Mexico and North Dakota, whereas 2019 additionally noticed Illinois change into the 11th state to legalize weed. Illinois’s marijuana legalization legislation will permit leisure possession and gross sales beginning January subsequent yr as properly.
Nevertheless, on the federal stage, marijuana stays unlawful as cannabis has been categorised as a Schedule 1 substance since 1970 when Congress handed the Managed Substances Act signed into legislation by President Richard Nixon.
On Wednesday this week, lawmakers held a listening to on ending federal marijuana prohibition.
“ Marijuana decriminalization could also be one of many only a few points upon which bipartisan settlement can nonetheless be reached on this session,” Consultant Tom McClintock stated on the event.
The listening to titled Marijuana Legal guidelines in America: Racial Justice and the Want for Reform was held earlier than the Home Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Safety and gathered authorized, well being and business specialists on Capitol Hill to talk about the advantages of legalization.
“There’s a rising consensus on this nation that present marijuana legal guidelines usually are not applicable and we should think about reform,” Consultant Karen Bass pressured. “Right now’s listening to is step one in that course of,” she underlined.
Though the listening to was hailed by some advocacy teams as “historic,” marijuana reform on the federal stage appears unlikely to return to fruition as its largest hurdle – a Republican-controlled Senate – continues to loom with Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell in staunch opposition to legalization.