Thursday, July 02, 2009
Action alert: Medical Marijuana bill needs support
by Larry Geller
The governor’s potential veto list is out. I know that people may differ on whether they think a bill should be allowed to live or die. I have my opinions, but for some of these bills, I am not as informed as others might be on the pros and cons. So I’m grateful when a reasoned appeal comes into my inbox that I might be able to pass on.
This message was written by Pam Lichty, President of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawai'i, a trusted and reliable source.
If you agree with Pam that this expected veto should be overridden, she gives suggestions for action towards the end.
I know that Disappeared News readers have made a difference, so if you agree with this one, I hope you’ll take action. Your call/fax/email can help.
Ok, over to Pam.
Aloha folks -
Well as you may have heard by now, SB 1058 CD1 (the Medical Cannabis Task Force bill) is on the Gov's potential veto list. This means she has the ability to veto it by July 15th, but won't necessarily do it.
This is her message on the bill:
SBIO5B SD2 RELATING TO CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES. HD2 CDI
Veto Explanation: Sets up a Task Force on medical marijuana. Both the medical cannabis task force and the salvia divinorum (a psychoactive herb) task force established under this measure will require significant financial resources and manpower from the Department of Public Safety, a department that must focus on
running our correctional facilities and meeting its safety obligations. Until federal marijuana laws are changed, it is inappropriate for State law enforcement agencies to recommend ways to access, transport, or increase the use of marijuana. Salvia divinorum can be added to the list of controlled substances, if deemed necessary, without the convening of a task force.
So the first thing to do is to bombard the Guv.'s office w/ calls and faxes and emails to try to get her to change her mind.Please do it soon because there are just a few more days. (Some legislators don't read their email. If you send one, make the subject line say what you want in case they don't read further.) Contact information is below.
And importantly contact your Rep.s and Senators, the conference cmttee members, and esp. the House and Senate leadership to encourage them to find the political courage to override the veto if need be. (Last year, you may recall, she vetoed a similar bill and the Senate overrode it, but the House did not.)
Incidentally the final vote on this bill in the Senate was unanimous and in the House only Rep. Finnegan (R) voted against it!) So it had very strong support.
Sen. Will Espero has been great on the issue (it's his bill), and on the House side the conference committee was co-chaired by Reps Karamatsu, Hanohano,Yamane, and Aquino. Rep. Marumoto was also on the cmttee. So it would be great to contact them as well as Speaker Say and Pres. Hanabusa (all contact info. below).
One of the points to make it that a lot has changed at the federal level since last year. U.S. Attorney General Holder is now saying that essentially he will not interfere w/ states on medical marijuana issues unless they are breaking both federal AND state law, or using medical marijuana as a shield for trafficking, etc.
Meanwhile other states are making great strides on this issue! The Rhode Island legislature just overrode their governor overwhelmingly when he vetoed a bill to set up compassion centers for a state-authorized distribution system. See below and perhaps tell our Legislators about this example!
Scroll to bottom for legislative contacts plus gov.. HERE'S A LINK TO THE RHODE ISLAND STORY.
Governor Linda Lingle: 586-0034, fax 586-0006
Speaker Calvin Say: 586-6100, fax 586-6101, email@example.com
Pres. Colleen Hanabusa: 586-7793, fax 586-7797, firstname.lastname@example.org
Conference committee members:
Rep. Aquino: 586-6520, fax 586-6521 email@example.com
Rep. Karamatsu: 586-8490,fax 586-8494, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Hanohano: 586-6530,fax 586-6531, email@example.com
Rep. Yamane: 586-6150, fax 586-6151, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Marumoto: 586-6310, fax 586-6311, email@example.com
Sen Espero: 586-6360, fax 586-6361, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Taniguchi: 586-6460, fax 586-6461, email@example.com
Pamela G. Lichty, MPH
Drug Policy Forum of Hawai'i
P.O. Box 61233
Honolulu, HI 96839
Phone: 808 735-8001
Fax: 808 735-2971
Cannabis and salvia have never killed anyone. Alcohol and tobacco kill thousands each year. I wonder why no "task forces" exist to asses those...