Hawaii’s New Three-Gram Decrim Law Lowest Amount in the Country
Marijuana decriminalization measures usually start at one ounce and a fine. In the case of Hawaii, that figure is three grams and a maximum fine of $130. Call it limited decrim.
House Bill 1383, which passed on April 30, reads:
“Provides for the expungement of criminal records pertaining solely to the possession of three grams or less of marijuana. Decriminalizes the possession of three grams or less of marijuana and establishes that the possession is a violation punishable by a monetary fine of $130. Establishes a marijuana evaluation task force to make recommendations on changing marijuana use penalties and outcomes in the State.”
MPP’S VIOLET CAVENDISH: “We will count Hawaii in our list of decrim states, but it is by far the smallest limit of any state.”
Since Gov. David Ige decided not to veto it, the measure will become Hawaiian law on January 11, 2020. He says it was a “tough call,” but noted that because it’s such a small amount “essentially (police) will proceed the way they always have.”
Three grams (less than an eighth of an ounce) is now the smallest amount of any decrim law in the nation. Fourteen states have decriminalized low-level marijuana possession, ranging from 10 grams (Missouri) to 100 grams (Ohio). The national average, according to NORML, is 29 grams. The average fine is $235.
“We will count Hawaii in our list of decrim states – states that no longer jail for possession of small amounts of marijuana – but it is by far the smallest limit of any state,” MPP communications coordinator Violet Cavendish tells Freedom Leaf.
NORML founder and legal counsel Keith Stroup adds: “It’s surely not a version of decriminalization that we would propose or encourage, but I suppose it’s as good as we’re likely to get with the current Hawaii governor.”
Hawaii becomes the 15th state with a marijuana decrim law. Eleven states have legalized it. Hawaii also has a medical-marijuana program and is famous for such local sativa strains as Maui Wowie and Kona Gold.