Strict Medical Marijuana Rules Mean-Spirited and Ill-Informed

David Shapiro’s column on tightening up on Hawai`i’s medical marijuana rules was mean-spirited and ill-informed (“Green on right track to make medicinal pot rules more rigid,” Volcanic Ash, Star-Advertiser, May 4).

Rather than our state law being “loosey goosey,” we are the only place, besides Vermont, where the program is housed in a law enforcement agency.

And Shapiro’s comparison to California is way off base, since our law is far more tightly written. We should emulate the dispensary systems in Colorado, Rhode Island, and New Mexico, which are stringent and well controlled.

Doctors are appropriately the gatekeepers for determining what conditions warrant use of marijuana. We also deplore the out-of-state physicians looking to cash in. But they’re coming to Hawaii because most local physicians are intimidated by a program run by the Narcotics Enforcement Division.

Right now, despite an 11-year-old law, patients must obtain their marijuana on the black market. This is dangerous, inhumane and inconsistent with the compassionate intent of the law. Surely this cannot be what Mr. Shapiro intends?