Two Hawaii Senate Committees have approved a bill that would reduce the penalty for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana to the status of a traffic violation.
The Committee on Judiciary and Labor joined with the Committee on Health to pass SB 1460 on Friday afternoon, February 4, 2011. The amended bill contains the following provisions:
- Establishes a civil violation for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana that is subject to a fine of not more than $100.
- Deletes reporting requirements of board of education for students possessing one ounce or less of marijuana.
- Clarifies that medical marijuana patients and primary caregiver may assert affirmative defense to prosecution, criminal or civil, involving possession of one ounce or less of marijuana.
- Excludes possession of more than one ounce of marijuana from authority of Hawaii paroling authority to require paroled prisoner to undergo and complete substance abuse treatment.
- Excludes possession of more than one ounce of marijuana from authority of courts to require a defendant to undergo and complete substance abuse treatment for probation violation.
- Clarifies definition of detrimental drug to exclude one ounce or less of marijuana.
- Excludes possession of one ounce or less of marijuana from offenses of promoting a detrimental drug in the second degree and third degree.
- Clarifies that possession of one ounce or less of marijuana does not constitute a possession with intent to distribute without other conduct indicating an intent to distribute for purposes of promoting controlled substance in or near schools, school vehicles, or public parks.
- Clarifies a civil violation for possession of marijuana does not constitute a prior offense for purposes of the conditional discharge law.
The Bill will now advance to the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
For further info you can contact a Newport Beach criminal defense lawyer.
The Senate has requested all interested parties in Hawai`i submit their written testimony as soon as possible. Click here for more information on how to submit your testimony to the Hawaii Senate on behalf of SB 1460.