Why is Hawaii County Arresting Medical Marijuana Patients? | Hawai`i News Daily

Why is Hawaii County Arresting Medical Marijuana Patients?


In June of 2000, Hawaii passed SB 862 HD1, which made Hawaii the first state whose legislature, as opposed to voter initiative, legalized marijuana for medical use.
In Hawaii once a patient has been issued a valid registry identification card, they are suppose to be legally permitted to grow, posses, transport, and use marijuana for medical purposes. Patients, as well as primary caregivers, are led to believe they have a right to an affirmative defense to criminal prosecution under the state’s marijuana laws.
However in Hawaii county patients complying with the law as written and possessing the state issued “blue cards” are regularly being  arresting and prosecuted for as little as 1 gram of marijuana.
The reason patients register is they want to comply and be legal they certainly do not expect to be arrested, but the exact opposite has occurred.
Hawaii county has over 5000 legal medical marijuana card holders. Many of those medical patients in Hawaii county with valid cards and within the legal limits have not only been arrested, and prosecuted, but convicted for promotion of a detrimental drug. In essence the state entrapped them by issuing the license with a copy of the rules and law. The state then denied them the affirmative defense they were led to believe they would get and they were convicted of a drug crime the same as any other person that is caught with marijuana.
Most are arrested for transporting the marijuana and the judges in Hawaii county have upheld that as not covered by the law and have denied them their right to an affirmative defense as allowed by the state law. In my opinion the county police, prosecutor, and judges are not following the state law. Instead trying to inflate their drug arrest statistics and intimidate anyone who has gotten their blue card.
Here is the link to the NED site and what they tell these patients that are being prosecuted by Jay Kimura in Hawaii county

Q) Where Can I Obtain Medical Marijuana?
State law is silent on how a patient obtains his / her marijuana. The State does not
authorize marijuana buyers clubs or recognize any legal source for marijuana to be
utilized for medicinal purposes. The Hawaii’s law states, however, that the “acquisition,
possession, cultivation, use, distribution (defined as only the transfer of marijuana and
paraphernalia from the primary caregiver to the qualifying patient), or transportation of
marijuana for medicinal use is specifically protected

Q) What Should a Patient Do If Stopped by the Police and Accused of Possession of
Politely show the officer your medical use of marijuana patient registry card. They may
then contact the Narcotics Enforcement Division to verify your registration and let you
go on your way.

Instead they are being arrested and convicted.
This is finally being challenged in court in a number of cases. Peaceful Sky Alliance, Americans for Safe Access, and Friends for Justice are working to identify patients that have been arrested and trying to help them with information and support. To date most have ended up pleading guilty or no contest because of the cost and threat of consequences for challenging the charges. The state issues them the license with guidelines that specifically allow for transport, but then the county of Hawaii arrest and prosecutes them anyway. While Hawaii county judges deny them their right to an affirmative defense as outlined in the state’s law.
Additionally, physicians are protected against any kind of punishment for advising a patient about medical marijuana or providing a patient with a signed statement allowing them to be included in the state’s medical marijuana registry.
There have been a number of bills to reform Hawaii’s laws that have passed in recent years only to be vetoed by Governor Lingle after Hawaii county police and prosecutors teamed with other departments to actively lobby against any reform at all.
With the new administration of Neil Abercrombie we may finally after 10 years see some relief and reform to Hawaii’s laws. There are a number of groups and individuals working on a variety of new legislation for the next legislative session.
ASA provides information on Hawaii’s medical marijuana  law here.
Currently the Hawaii state medical marijuana law does not provide any method for patients to receive medical marijuana. There is no place in the State of Hawaii to legally purchase medical marijuana. Qualified medical marijuana patients cannot go to a pharmacy to fill a prescription for medical marijuana.

Patients or their caregivers are allowed to grow medical marijuana only for the patient’s private use, but makes no provisions for a supply or source.

Under the law, the physician must work with the Narcotics Enforcement Division, which oversees the medical marijuana program. Unlike most other states, Hawaii’s medical marijuana program falls under the state Department of Public Safety—the people who run law enforcement, prisons and jails—not the state Department of Health.
The states program is headed by Keith Kamita of the NED under the Deapartment of Public Safety. He at times travels around the state of Hawaii doing a presentation that list the doctors who issue medical marijuana in order of number of recommendations in a further attempt to intimidate them IMO.
The Narcotics Enforcement Division takes an adversarial view of a program it administers. Its control of the program has been scary for both patients and physicians.
Keith Kamita, the chief of the NED has been quoted publicly as saying “We didn’t ask for it,  . Kamita has become the face of the law enforcement’s side of the program
Many physicians do not participate, for fear of legal repercussions., thus the ones that do tend to have a great many patients.
While the NED administers the medical marijuana program, enforcement also falls to HPD. It, too, polices a program it doesn’t think should be legal. “HPD is against the legalization, decriminalization and medicinal use of marijuana, said Maj. Susan Dowsett, who heads the Honolulu Police Department Narcotics/Vice Division when she was interviewed on the subject.
HPD doesn’t receive funding to enforce the medical cannabis program, but it does get $100,000 to $250,000 annually for marijuana enforcement and eradication.
Dr.  Charles Webb, A physician from the Big Island who participated in the Medical Cannabis Working Group, and helped draft the HMA rescheduling resolution.  Recently was quoted saying “I never saw a hospitalization from marijuana.”  Dr.Webb, who was an emergency room physician for more than 30 years also said “The most dangerous thing [about marijuana] is being arrested.
To further intimidate patients in June 2008, the NED sent the Hawaii-Tribune Herald, a Big Island newspaper, information on 4,200 medical marijuana patients inducing names and addresses. They claimed it was an accident but put in context of the other action we have seen that claim is rightly questioned in the outing of the medical patients.
Dr Baiko another Big Island doctor wrote a letter published by Peaceful Sky Alliance. Here are some exerts.
N.E.D. Officer Keith Kamita is apparently giving public presentations in which he questions the motivations and integrity of patients who use medical cannabis and the physicians who certify their eligibility to do so.  This news is consistent to my personal dealings with Mr. Kamita, who has expressed to me his suspicions that physicians are certifying patients that are not truly qualified by the law, at least as far as the law “originally intended.  He implied that he would be scrutinizing the medical cannabis card applications we submit and stated that it would be a “good idea for us physicians to elaborate on our patient’s condition in the “comments section of the “Physician’s certification (Page 3 of application).  He actually stated that he hopes to avoid pursuing RICO charges against physicians.

Mr. Kamita’s presentation confirms that he is collecting data to build cases against physicians (and perhaps patients too.)  No wonder he wants us cannabinoid friendly physicians to elaborate on our patient’s conditions.  He is looking for diagnostic patterns in our certifications to argue that we are breaking the law repeatedly.  However, Mr. Kamita is neither professionally nor intellectually qualified to analyze our diagnoses or judge us or our patients based on any medical information submitted to the N.E.D. or otherwise.  He’s a police officer.
I find it disturbing that his presentation singles out physicians who certify medical cannabis patients.  It would be telling to know whether he makes such presentations citing which physicians prescribe the most Oxycontin or Hydrocodone in the state, publicly questioning their professional integrity.   The N.E.D. is certainly privy to such information along with the birth date information required with prescriptions for controlled substances.  But state law (HRS 329: Uniform Controlled Substance Act) does not require diagnostic justification in such prescriptions.  In fact, no where in HRS 329 does it state that physicians are required to provide diagnostic justification (i.e. “for pain or “for AIDS, etc.) for providing written certification for the use of medical marijuana for qualifying patients.
See more here
Sen. Will Espero established the Medical Cannabis Working Group after Gov. Linda Lingle refused to convene a medical marijuana task force, even though it had been approved by the Legislature. The group released a report in February detailing statewide program recommendations. Last legislative session, about 20 bills were introduced to expand the program—none passed.
Here in Hawaii, there were other bills relating to Medical Marijuana considered by the state legislature last session.

You can see them here.
In the mean time Hawaii county along with the state continue to intimidate even arrest and prosecute those least able to defend themselves medical marijuana patients. Using  intimidation to try and prevent most people from actually applying for a license then harassing, arresting and prosecuting those that do.  And its getting worse as we saw recently.
According to an August 20 report in the Hawaii Tribune Herald,
Hawaii NED chief Keith Kamita told the Tribune-Herald that 59 residences on the Big Island were investigated for medical marijuana permits.
The police were actually landing helicopters in peoples yards that had no marijuana without permission or search warrants to go check people that registered as patients. If that is not a violation of the law what is.
It was confirmed that local police were involved in the raids, in possible violation of Hawaii County’s Lowest Police Priority Law, making 24 plants and 24 ounces the lowest priority offense on the Big Island.
The confiscation of “excess marijuana in combination with no arrests might lead a casual observer to question whether state narcotics police may be testing the Ballot One law. ”
There is no patient doctor confidentiality under the current law. The program needs to be moved to the state department of health where it belongs.
Here are some links to another patients story of police abuse and theft from him in Hawaii county. This officer was not prosecuted but patients are routinely prosecuted while in full compliance.


Tags: , , , , , ,

| Print This Post Print This Post
  • malcolm kyle

    If you support prohibition then you are NOT a conservative.
    Conservative principles, quite clearly, ARE:

    1) Limited, locally controlled government.
    2) Individual liberty coupled with personal responsibility.
    3) Free enterprise.
    4) A strong national defense.
    5) Fiscal responsibility.

    Prohibition is actually an authoritarian War on the Constitution and all civic institutions of our great nation.

    It’s all about the market and cost/benefit analysis. Whether any particular drug is good, bad, or otherwise is irrelevant! As long as there is demand for any mind altering substance, there will be supply; the end! The only affect prohibiting it has is to drive the price up, increase the costs and profits, and where there is illegal profit to be made criminals and terrorists thrive.

    The cost of criminalizing citizens who are using substances no more harmful than similar things that are perfectly legal like alcohol and tobacco, is not only hypocritical and futile, but also simply not worth the incredible damage it does.

    Afghani farmers produce approx. 93% of the world’s opium which is then, mostly, refined into street heroin then smuggled throughout Eastern and Western Europe.

    Both the Taliban and the terrorists of al Qaeda derive their main income from the prohibition-inflated value of this very easily grown crop, which means that Prohibition is the “Goose that laid the golden egg” and the lifeblood of terrorists as well as drug cartels. Only those opposed, or willing to ignore this fact, want things the way they are.

    See: How opium profits the Taliban: http://tinyurl.com/37mr86k


    Prohibition provides America’s sworn enemies with financial “aid” and tactical “comforts”. The Constitution of the United States of America defines treason as:
    “Article III / Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

    Support for prohibition is therefor an act of treason against the Constitution, and a dire threat to the nation’s civic institutions.

    The Founding Fathers were not social conservatives who believed that citizens should be subordinate to any particular narrow religious moral order. That is what the whole concept of unalienable individual rights means, and sumptuary laws, especially in the form of prohibition, were something they continually warned about.

    It is way past time for us all to wise up and help curtail the dangerous expansions of federal police powers, the encroachments on individual liberties, and the increasing government expenditure devoted to enforcing the unworkable and dangerous policy of drug prohibition.

    To support prohibition you have to be either a socialist, ignorant, stupid, brainwashed, insane or corrupt.

    * The US national debt has increased at an average rate of $3,000,000000 per day since 2006. http://www.usdebtclock.org/
    * The unemployment rate has increased by 7300 per day since 2008.
    * The loss of manufacturing jobs has been 1400 per day since 2006.
    * Without the legalized regulation of opium products Afghanistan will continue to be a bottomless pit in which to throw countless billions of tax dollars and wasted American lives.
    * The hopeless situation in Afghanistan is helping to destabilize it’s neighbor, Pakistan, which is a country with nuclear weapons.
    * The mayhem in Mexico has deteriorated so badly that it’s bordering on farcical.

    There is nothing conservative about prohibition, which enlists the most centralized state power in displacement of domestic and community roles. There is everything authoritarian and subversive about this policy which has incinerated American traditions such as Freedom and Federalism with its puritanical flames. Any person seeking to insure and not further compromise the safety of their family and of their neighbors must not only repudiate prohibition but help spearhead its abolition.

    We will always have adults who are too immature to responsibly deal with tobacco alcohol, heroin amphetamines, cocaine, various prescription drugs and even food. Our answer to them should always be: “Get a Nanny, and stop turning the government into one for the rest of us!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Robert Petricci

      Lets not forget the money made on prohibition through big oil, big pharma, logging, and the private prisons. Prohibition has been used to militarize the private police forces across the country with just about every town equipt with swat teams that need to justify their existence. Those police departments have become dependent on federal money thus they have sold their sovereignty/independence to the federal/corporate government.

      The drug war and policing thus justice have become a business.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • A. Cops Worstnightmare

    Everyone needs to get an attorney and sue the Police, the judges, and the prosecutor. It is against federal law to do what they are doing. In effect they should be charged with racketeering. Look at it this way:

    Speeding is against the law. But a new state drivers license would allow the holder to speed for an additional fee. The new holders drive around for some time when all of a sudden the Hilo Police decide to start arresting them for speeding. Even though they posses a special permit to speed. This is double jeopardy. The state collects a fee [tax] and issues a license to permit the license holder to violate the law. As long as they follow the terms of the license, they are within their right to violate the law. Now by prosecuting them for violating the law and ignoring the fact that they paid a fee [tax] to do so penalizes them twice for the same offence. This has been covered many times by the US Supreme Court.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Adam

    I say we axe these judges like Iowa did. But then again what do voters know…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Thomas

    At least 14 more states have medical marijuana legislation in play

    House Bill:
    HB 207
    Introduced by Rep. Todd and referred to the House of Representatives committee on Judiciary (Jan. 12, 2010)

    Senate Bill:
    SB 94
    Referred to Senate Health & Social Services Committee on May 13, 2009; Reported out of committee on June 3, 2009; Introduced to the Senate with amendments (June 23, 2009)

    House Bill:
    HB 2514
    Passed the Human Services Committee on Mar. 3, 2009; Re-referred to the Rules Committee (Apr. 3, 2009)

    SB 1381 arrived in the House after being passed by the Senate on May 27, 2009; Referred to Rules Committee then Human Services Committee on May 28, 2009; Re-referred to Rules Committee (Dec. 1, 2009)
    Senate Bill:
    SB 1381
    Passed the Public Health Committee on Mar. 26, 2009; Amendments added and referred Assignments Committee, then to Public Health Committee. Passed third reading by a vote of 30-28 (May 27, 2009)

    Senate Bill:
    SF 293
    Referred to Human Resources Subcommittee (Mar. 4, 2009)

    House Bill:
    HB 2610
    Introduced by Rep. Finney on Feb. 2, 2010; Referred to Health and Human Services committee (Feb. 3, 2010)

    House Bill:
    HB 712
    Introduced by Del. Morhaim and 47 co-sponsors on Feb. 4, 2010; First reading in Health & Government Operations Committee and Judiciary Committee (Feb. 4, 2010)
    Senate Bill:
    SB 627
    Introduced by Sen. Brinkley and nine co-sponsors on Feb. 5, 2010; First reading in Judicial Proceedings Committee (Feb. 5, 2010)

    House Bill:
    HB 2160
    Referred to Joint Committee on Public Health on Jan. 20, 2009; Public hearing held (May 19, 2009)

    Senate Bill:
    SB 2606
    Referred to Drug Policy Committee on Jan. 14, 2010; Died in committee (Feb. 2, 2010)

    House Bill:
    HB 1670
    Introduced and read the first time on Jan. 14, 2010; Read the second time in the House, no hearing scheduled and not currently on calendar (Jan. 19, 2010)

    New York
    Assembly Bill:
    AO 9016
    Referred to the Committee on Health on June 19, 2009; Referred to the Committee on Codes on June 22, 2009; Referred to the Committee on Health on Jan. 6, 2010; Referred to the Committee on Codes (Jan. 12, 2010)
    Senate Bill:
    SO 4041B
    Referred to the Committee on Health on Apr. 8, 2009; Amended and re-referred to the Committee on Health on Apr. 17, 2009; Passed the Committee on Health and referred to the Senate Codes Committee on May 26, 2009; Amended and re-referred to the Senate Codes Committee on Aug. 24, 2009; Referred to the Committee on Health (Jan. 6, 2010)

    North Carolina
    House Bill:
    H 1380
    Passed first reading in the House and referred to the Committee on Health on Apr. 13, 2009; Committee heard testimony from patients and medical professionals (June 18, 2009)

    House Bill:
    HB 1393
    Referred to the Health and Human Services Committee on Apr. 30, 2008; Committee hearing held with testimonies for and against the legislation (Dec. 3, 2009)

    House Bill:
    HB 368
    Referred to the Health and Human Resources Committee on Feb. 11, 2009; Assigned to the Public Health and Family Assistance Sub-Committee (Feb. 18, 2009)
    Never voted on; can be considered again in 2010
    Senate Bill:
    SB 0209
    Referred to the General Welfare, Health and Human Resources Committee (Feb. 11, 2009)
    Never voted on; can be considered again in 2010

    Assembly Bill:
    AB 554
    Introduced and referred to Public Health Committee on Nov. 5, 2009; Fiscal estimate received on Nov. 16, 2009; Public hearing held on Dec. 15, 2010; Fiscal estimate received (Dec. 23, 2009)
    Senate Bill:
    SB 368
    Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice on Jan. 13, 2010; Assigned to Courts of Justice Criminal Sub-Committee on Jan. 19, 2010; Subcommittee votes to table the bill, making it inactive (Jan. 27, 2010)
    Federal law prohibits physicians from writing prescriptions for illegal drugs, including marijuana. If passed, the bill would have no practical effect (similar to Arizona), (prior to the recent win yesterday in Arizona) and Virginia therefore is not counted as a state with pending legislation to legalize medical marijuana.]
    Although there are petition drives underway in states such as Florida and South Dakota, ballot initiatives will only be added once a measure has been officially added to a state ballot.


    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Thomas

    Feds’ Top Pot Researcher Says Marijuana Should Be Legal
    (June 18, 2009)
    LOS ANGELES — A University of California researcher who has performed US-government sponsored studies of marijuana and lung function for over 30 years says that pot should be legal.
    In an interview with the McClatchy newspaper chain, Donald Tashkin of the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, said: “[A]t this point, I’d be in favor of (marijuana) legalization. I wouldn’t encourage anybody to smoke any substances. But I don’t think it should be stigmatized as an illegal substance. Tobacco smoking causes far more harm. And in terms of an intoxicant, alcohol causes far more harm (than marijuana).”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Thomas

    September 14th, 2010
    For nearly a decade now myself and others have been highlighting the potent anti-cancer and potentially cancer preventive properties of cannabinoids.


    Now Dr. Andrew Weil, a best-selling author and world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, has lent his powerful voice to this discussion.

    Cannabis Rx: Cutting Through the Misinformation
    via Huffington Post

    [Excerpt below; read the full commentary here.] Research into possible medical uses of cannabis is enjoying a renaissance. In recent years, studies have shown potential for treating nausea, vomiting, premenstrual syndrome, insomnia, migraines, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, alcohol abuse, collagen-induced arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, bipolar disorder, depression, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, sickle-cell disease, sleep apnea, Alzheimer’s disease and anorexia nervosa.

    But perhaps most exciting, cannabinoids (chemical constituents of Cannabis, the best known being tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) may have a primary role in cancer treatment and prevention. A number of studies have shown that these compounds can inhibit tumor growth in laboratory animal models. In part, this is achieved by inhibiting angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels that tumors need in order to grow. What’s more, cannabinoids seem to kill tumor cells without affecting surrounding normal cells. If these findings hold true as research progresses, cannabinoids would demonstrate a huge advantage over conventional chemotherapy agents, which too often destroy normal cells as well as cancer cells.

    in 1999, the most respected medical body in the United States, the Institute of Medicine, published Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base, in which the authors reported, “The accumulated scientific data indicate a potential therapeutic value for cannabinoid drugs, particularly for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation.” The American government had finally granted official recognition of this natural medicinal resource. However, to understate the obvious, there are a number of potential benefits not listed in the Institute of Medicine’s report.

    Isolation of some of the 61 active compounds found in cannabis resin, known as cannabinoids, has enabled many studies to be done without the use of the natural material, which still remains almost impossible to obtain for legitimate studies. Immediately following the IOM’s 1999 report, the White House promised to support independent research on medical marijuana, yet only one such study was allowed

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Thomas

    California was the first state to allow medical marijuana in 1996. Since then 14 other states and Washington, D.C., have followed suit.
    Arizona is the latest state where voters approved a measure that will legalize medical marijuana use in the state for people with chronic or debilitating diseases, in a close contest earlier this month.

    Kieth Kamita is not a doctor and the reefer madness arguments impacts are outdated and debunked propaganda that will no longer work. Everyday new amazing information is coming out. Here is a little taste

    Cannabidiol: The Wonder Drug of the 21st Century?

    The traditional use of Cannabis as an analgesic, anti-asthmatic, and anti-rheumatic drug is well established. This British study also suggests that cultivation of Cannabis plants rich in Cannabidiol (CBD) and other phenolic substances would be useful in the treatment of certain inflammatory disorders. CBD was found to be more effective than aspirin as an anti-inflammatory agent. “Analgesic and Anti-inflammatory Activity of Constituents of Cannabis Sativa L.,” E.A. Formukong, A.T. Evans, and F.J. Evans, Inflammation, Vol. 4, 1988, pp. 361-371.

    Much more here




    Cannabis Medical Dictionary
    History of Medical Cannabis

    Study finds marijuana may shrink tumors
    Medical Marijuana could shrink tumors?

    Reuters.com reports that a Spanish study published on Wednesday, indicates that THC, the active ingredient in marijuana reduces tumor growth and killed off cancerous cells in a process called autophagy.
    Antineoplastic activity of cannabinoids
    A.E. Munson, L.S. Harris, M.A. Friedman, W.L. Dewey, and R.A. Carchman
    Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 55, No. 3, September 1975

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Thomas

    Not so fast there reefer madness

    The American Medical Association (AMA) voted November 10, 2009 to reverse its long-held position that marijuana be retained as a Schedule I substance with no medical value.


    2010 brought some amazing news about marijuana’s ability to treat some of the most devastating diseases of our time.

    A Molecular Link Between the Active Component of Marijuana and Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology

    Great cutting edge article on treating Alzheimer disease.


    and, Medical Marijuana Stops Spread of Breast Cancer – NBC NEWS February 19, 2010

    Cannabis has been around and used medically through out history so why has it taken so long to allow Americans access to it, and do the clinical work necessary to bring it to market.

    Contrast that to swine flu vaccine clinical trials that took only 4 days before they started manufacturing them for the general public.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Impacts

    Thank you Chief Kamita for holding accountable those who think that they cannot only circumvent Federal Law, but think that smoked marijuana is medicine.

    Many federal dollars have already been spent researching marijuana, which resulted in a clear decision by the Food and Drug Administration the federal agency responsible for approving drugs as safe and effective medicine based on valid scientific data. The FDA noted that “there is currently sound evidence that smoked marijuana is harmful,” and “that no sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States.



    In a study of seriously injured drivers, 26.9% tested positive for MARIJUANA while 11.6% tested positive for cocaine, and 5.6% tested positive for either methamphetamine or amphetamine.

    Additionally, in a recent British Columbia roadside study of drivers, 10.4% of drivers who provided an oral fluid sample tested positive for at least one drug other than alcohol. Cannabis and cocaine were the most commonly detected illegal substances, with 4.6% of drivers testing positive for each. 0.9% of drivers tested positive for opiates. Amphetamines, methamphetamine and benzodiazepines were detected in less than 1% of drivers.

    Of the total number of positive drug tests, cannabis accounted for 49.4%. Cocaine was detected in 29.3% of positive cases while opiates were detected in 14.8%. Cannabis and cocaine was the most common polydrug combination, and accounted for 8.3% of all positive drug cases.


    It is exceedingly rare to be incarcerated in the US for the use or possession of marijuana. According to the National Center on Addiction & Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA, 2010), less than 1 percent (0.9%) of jail and prison inmates in the U.S. were incarcerated for marijuana possession as their sole offense.

    Excluding jail detainees who may be held pending booking or release on bond, the rates are even lower. Prison inmates sentenced for marijuana possession account for 0.7 percent of state prisoners and 0.8 percent of federal prisoners. And, considering that many of those prisoners pled down from more serious charges, the true incarceration rate for marijuana possession can only be described as negligible.



    From 1992 – 2006:

    There was a 175 percent jump in the potency of marijuana (3.2 to 8.8 percent THC[i] concentration in seized samples).

    There was a 492 percent increase in the proportion of teen treatment admissions with a medical diagnosis for marijuana abuse or dependence, compared with a 54 percent decline for all other substances of abuse.

    There was a 188 percent increase in the proportion of teen treatment admissions for marijuana as the primary drug of abuse, compared with a 54 percent decline for all other substances of abuse.

    From 1995 – 2002:

    There was a 136 percent increase in the proportion of emergency department findings of marijuana as a major substance of abuse among teens, more than five times the increase in such findings for all other substances of abuse.

    “The message for teens is clear–today’s pernicious pot is not your parent’s pot,” said Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA’s Chairman and President and former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. “The THC potency in marijuana seized in the 1970’s, when marijuana use was most prevalent, was less than one percent; today such potency levels have climbed to 8.8 percent. This increased potency parallels the increases we see in teen medical diagnoses, treatment admissions and emergencies. Parents and teachers, coaches and clergy, all who work with teens, must understand that marijuana is a risky and addictive drug with serious health and social consequences.”

    Despite recent declines in teen marijuana use, compared to lows in 1992 the report found that in 2007 the proportion of teens who had used the drug was 27 percent higher among eighth graders, 45 percent higher among tenth graders and 28 percent higher among twelfth graders.


    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Rev. Nancy

    Thank you for telling us about all this injustice going on. Buddah Belly, I have a question. What is Friends for Justice?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • buddah belly

      Aloha Rev. Nancy,

      Friends for Justice is a group of folks dedicated to finding justice in the court system for cannabis (marijuana) issues. There are also issues with police and county enforcement of our incomplete medical marijuana laws. In addition we have several cannabis ministries facing legal issues with their right to use sacrament, including Hawaii THC Ministries’ Roger Christie who has been in federal prison since July 8th, held without bail as a “danger to society”.

      Friends for Justice meets weekly, and has goals which include moral and trial support for cannabis defendants, getting the County to uphold the Lowest Law Enforcemnt Priority of Cannabis Ordinance, and helping the doctors and medical marijuana patients.

      The original members all had been seeing each other in court since 2007, and decided to get together to compare notes and help each other with their cases. And yes, the cases do drag on for years and years.

      The up coming legislative session should be exciting for cannabis lawmaking. We finally have a governor who will not veto the hard work of the legislators, who have been trying for the last 10 years to rectify the incompleteness of Hawaii’s compassionate medical marijuana laws.

      Aloha, your friend for justice

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • 42belvedere

    Besides some typos, this is a fairly well-written article. It is informative and reasonably accurate. Good for the author for admitting mistakes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • buddah belly

    Thanks Thomas for all your work on this subject. I just wanted to add, if anyone has been busted for growing or transporting medical marijuana, with 24 plants or less, or has an ongoing legal battle in court over marijuana/cannabis, please call Friends for Justice @ 936-3827 or email friendsforjustice@gmail.com.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Thomas

    The story above was published accidentally before I had edited it. It was my first attempt at doing a story here and I have to figure things out a little better. I apologize for the mistakes and not crediting some of the sources of the information. It was just my notes and had not been put together the way I intended.

    Again I apologize and will be working to do a better job in any future post.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • There are a lot of typos in this article–were you high when you wrote this. Just kidding.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0