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Hawaii Becomes 26th US State With Decriminalized Cannabis

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Hawaii Becomes 26th US State With Decriminalized Cannabis

On Tuesday, a new bill became a law in Hawaii that decriminalized marijuana. Even though the state still has not legalized it, the move is seen as an improvement.

What To Know

The bill decriminalizing cannabis was introduced in the Congress in January and the Democrat-controlled legislature passed it and sent it to Gov. David Ige at the beginning of May. Even though the Democratic governor did not sign the bill, he also did not veto it, which resulted in it becoming a law on Tuesday.

The law removes the possibility of jail time for possession of up to three grams of cannabis. However, the $130 fine was kept as a penalty. The law includes the expungement of criminal records related solely to the possession of up to three grams of plant material.

It also authorizes the creation of a marijuana evaluation task force that would be focused on making recommendations on changing penalties for cannabis use.

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Why It's Important

With the new law, Hawaii became the 26th U.S. state where cannabis is either legalized or decriminalized.

Decriminalization is a small step compared to measures taken by other states that legalized adult-use. Nevertheless, it's an important move in a state that has been moving very slowly on legalization, despite all levers of power being fully controlled by the Democrats.

In March, a bill failed to pass, despite strong support in Congress, after the Health Committee did not meet the deadline required to consider the bill.

Related Link:

Illinois To Become 11th State To Legalize Recreational Marijuana

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