Hawaii Medical Marijuana Patients Should Oppose HB 2600

Cannabis

Object of obsession

HB2600 is another attempt by law enforcement to shut down the medical Cannabis (‘marijuana’) program in Hawai’i by fundamentally changing registration requirements for physicians who recommend medical Cannabis, but not other controlled substances. It therefore targets medical Cannabis for harsher penalties than other controlled substances. It would also effectively ban house calls, and a physician’s right to speak freely with patients.

The bill has been scheduled for a hearing Tuesday in front of the House Judiciary Committee.

You can read the current version of the bill here.

Section 4 of the proposed bill would amend section 329-32 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes to read:

“(e) A separate registration shall be required at each principal place of business or professional practice where the applicant manufactures, distributes, prescribes, or dispenses controlled substances[,] or recommends the medical use of marijuana, except an office used by a practitioner (who is registered at another location) where controlled substances are prescribed but neither administered nor otherwise dispensed as a regular part of the professional practice of the practitioner at such office, and where no supplies of controlled substances are maintained.”

Such language may limit the free speech of a physician by requiring every location where they discuss medical Cannabis to be registered, and may therefore be unconstitutional.

In any case, Hawaii law enforcement should not be directing how doctors practice medicine by severely restricting where they can see patients. Eliminating the ability of a doctor to make a house-call to a seriously ill patient by requiring additional registration is contrary to the goal of the medical Cannabis program, which is compassion.

Also, updating the Hawai’i Uniform Controlled Substance Act (chapter 329) to be consistent with the Federal Controlled Substance Act might eliminate medical cannabis, which is not recognized by the Federal government.

The Hawai’i Medical Association recommends Cannabis be lowered to a schedule III drug. Administrative law judge Francis L. Young says the Federal government is not scheduling Cannabis appropriately. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia recognize Cannabis as medicine. Even a branch of the Federal government — the Veterans Health Administration — has recognized that Cannabis has medical value.

Hawaii medical marijuana patients can submit testimony opposing HB2600, and specifically that Section 4 be removed. Testimony must be received by Monday at 2:05pm (since the hearing is Tuesday February 14th at 2:05pm). Please remove Section 4 from this bill.

To submit testimony:
Please go to http://capitol.hawaii.gov/submittestimony.aspx
Enter HB2600 (no spaces) and fill in the fields.
Hawaii medical Cannabis patients should click “opposed” as the “testifier position”. Testimony can be uploaded or added in the “comments” section.

Matt Rifkin, born and raised in New York City, and 20-year resident of Tokyo, Japan moved to the Big Island in 2003 to escape the concrete jungles and neon lights. Became interested in cannabis reform when seeing the vast difference between US and Canadian media coverage of the murder of four RCMPs in 2005. Became personally interested in solving the inter-island transportation issue after being threatened with arrest at Kona airport on Christmas Day 2007. Although living in Puna, Matt lives “on the grid” and while not vegan or vegetarian tries to eat non-GMO papaya and organic fruits as often as possible.

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