HB1963 Targets Medical Marijuana Patients with Chronic Pain



For medical cannabis patients in the state of Hawai’i, we really have a fight on our hands.

HB1963 had its first hearing last week. Unfortunately this bill, authored by the Department of Public Safety, and designed to drastically reduce the number of patients whose qualifying condition is chronic pain, passed the Heath Committee and Public Safety and Military Affairs Committee, with amendments.

The Public Safety and Military Affairs vote was 9-yes, 1-no (Rep Souki) and 2-excused. The Health Committee vote was 8-yes (but 5 with reservations), 1-no (Rep Hanohano) and 1-excused

The 5 “with reservations” is a little good news, and the bill was amended, but although there may be changes, I don’t think the overall punitive nature of this bill will change. It’s basic intent is to scare and intimidate those patients who would still qualify for the program. It is a terrible bill.

We did win the first round of testimony, with 59 opposed and only 39 in support. Of the letters in support, 21 were all exactly the same three sentences, and other than saying the program was being abused, never gave personal reasons for their stance. The majority of testimony from patients was personal, and is supposed to carry more weight, but given the vote, that did not happen.

Last year we had between 80 and 100 testimonies per bill, and we have to continue to get word out.

More of the 7,500 patients need to share the reasons and benefits of medical cannabis so that our legislators will hear us!

HB1963 now heads to the House Judiciary committee, where it must be scheduled.

Thus far, no other bills have been scheduled. I will keep you posted.

If you want to read the testimony for HB1963, click here and here.

 

Matt

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2 comments on “HB1963 Targets Medical Marijuana Patients with Chronic Pain

  • Adriana

    thanks for share!

  • Michael

    Money and facts continue to fog political minds as they continue to prevent cannabis users of their medicine. I think Mit Romney’s statement ‘I will never appologize for America’ illustrates our politicians feelings on changing laws they have for so long provided lies and misinformation about. The internet has become the great equalizer allowing communities and people to join together, educate thoemselves and others and to join together to fight the oppressive and ridiculous cannabis laws. They claim it is illegal because it is dangerous, yet they allow tobacco to kill 440 thousand people per year, while cannabis could prevent many of those deaths!

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