Democratic Gov. David Ige failed to take action on legislation decriminalizing low-level marijuana possession offenses, thereby allowing the measure to become law without his signature.

House Bill 1383 reduces penalties involving the possession of up to three grams of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a $1,000 fine and a criminal record, to a non-criminal violation – punishable by a $130 fine. It also provides procedures for the courts to grant an expungement order for those previously convicted of a marijuana possession offense involving no more than three grams.

The new law takes effect on January 11, 2020.

Twenty-six states and Washington, DC have either legalized or decriminalized the adult possession and use of marijuana.

Separate legislative measures which sought to establish a commercial hemp industry in Hawaii and to permit qualified patients to engage in inter-island travel with medical cannabis were both vetoed by the Governor on Tuesday.

More information regarding pending marijuana legislation is available from NORML’s Take Action Center.

Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director
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