Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hawaii Medical Marijuana News

Medical Marijuana Users Look For Changes

Group Hopes To Create New Legislation To Improve Distribution

POSTED: 10:39 am HST October 28, 2009
UPDATED: 11:07 am HST October 28, 2009
HONOLULU -- Medical marijuana users say Hawaii badly needs a marijuana
distribution center.

A group looking at problems with the current medical marijuana program
gathered for community input on Tuesday night as it prepares to make
recommendations to the state Legislature.

In 2000, Hawaii became the first state in the country to legislatively
approve a medical marijuana program. Many say the 9-year-old law is
unclear and outdated.

Paul Minar is certified to use medicinal marijuana for his chronic back

"It relieves the pain without putting me in a fog," Minar said.

Minar is among about 5,000 patients in Hawaii legally using marijuana
who are having a difficult time acquiring the drug.

"The only place to buy your medicine is at 3 o'clock in the morning in
some scary part of town," Minar said.

"The way we have our system currently set up, we just push them to the
black market," medical marijuana user Brian Murphy said.

Murphy uses medicinal marijuana to calm his migraine seizures.

"It made me totally get off of narcotics," he said.

Murphy said he also wants distribution centers. However, he said he
wants to see the government support small farmers who cultivate medical

"We have quite a bit of agriculture here in the state that cannot afford
to stay on the land," Murphy said.

The Medical Cannabis Working Group for the medical marijuana program is
gathering community input on the 9 year old medical marijuana bill.

Its legislative recommendation could be greatly influenced by the U.S.
Justice Department, which recently ordered that people who use or
distribute medical marijuana should not be federally prosecuted so long
as they act within state laws.

Some complain Hawaii's medical marijuana laws are vague. They say the
laws do not address the purchase or sale of medical marijuana. Some
patients said they are uncomfortable registering with the Public Safety
Department's Narcotics Enforcement Division.

"A lot of folks feel it should be with the Department of Health, as it
is in most other states that have a registration system," said Pam
Lichty, of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii.

Minar and Murphy said they are grateful Hawaii's current law allows
growing, transporting and possession of medical marijuana and
paraphernalia. They said they will push for more support next
legislation session.

http://www.kitv. com/health/ 21455538/ detail.html


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