Scorecard: House Omnibus Marijuana Package

As a follow-up to the previous Call to Arms, I have received many emails asking about what happened to the bills that the House Committee on Health (HLT) heard a couple of weeks ago.  Here is a list of the bills that were heard by the House Committee on Health – how did your representative vote?

HB321 (Medical Marijuana Dispensaries) – The Health and Judiciary Committees in the House passed the bill through their respective committees after making revisions. Neither the committee report nor the House Draft 1 (amended version of the bill) are available yet. This bill moves to the full House for second reading before it continues to the House Finance Committee. Votes are as follows:

HB321, House Committee on Health (HLT)
Yes: Belatti, Creagan, Hashem, Morikawa
W/R: Jordan, Kobayashi, Oshiro, Fukumoto Chang
No: (none)
Absent: Tupola
HB321, House Judiciary Committee (JUD)
Yes: Rhoads, San Buenaventura, Belatti, Brower, Creagan, Hashem, C. Lee, Morikawa, Nakashima, Takayama, Thielen
W/R: Kawakami
No: McDermott
Absent: Woodson

HB788 (Oversight and regulation of dispensaries, Lessons from Colorado) – HB788 would have fixed all of the flaws in HB321. While it would not stop the inevitable launch of medical marijuana dispensaries, it would have ensured that Hawaii would not repeat the same mistakes as Colorado in the implementation of their dispensary system. This bill was deferred and is currently ‘dead’. [1]

HB1455 (Increases possession limits for medical marijuana users) – This bill has been amended to only increase the number of plants users are allowed to possess. While a more detailed analysis will be done in a future post, this still effectively increases the number of plants a patient can have from seven to fourteen. This bill has passed through the House Committee on Health and passed second reading by the full House of Representatives.

HB1455, House Committee on Health (HLT)
Yes: Belatti, Creagan, Morikawa, Fukumoto Chang
W/R: Jordan, Kobayashi
No: Tupola
Absent: Hashem, Oshiro
HB1455, Second Reading
Yes: Belatti, Brower, Creagan, Evans, Fukumoto Chang, Hashem, Ichiyama, Ing, Ito, Johanson, Kawakami, Keohokalole, Kobayashi, Kong, C. Lee, LoPresti, Lowen, Luke, Mizuno, Morikawa, Nakashima, Nishimoto, Ohno, Onishi, Rhoads, Saiki, Say, Souki, Takayama, Thielen, Tsuji and Yamashita.
W/R: Aquino, Cachola, Cullen, Jordan, Matsumoto, McKelvey, Oshiro, Pouha, San Buenaventura, Tokioka and Yamane
No: Har, McDermott, Tupola and Ward
Absent: Takumi

Amongst the “yays” and “nays” of second reading, it is worth noting that Fukumoto Chang specifically voiced her “strong support” for HB1455.

HB794 (Doctor-determination of medical marijuana ailments) – This bill would have allowed individual doctors to determine the range of ailments that medical marijuana could be prescribed for. Currently, the Legislature and Department of Health maintain a list of ailments that medical marijuana can be prescribed for to prevent overprescription of marijuana for relatively minor ailments (e.g. paper cuts, etc.). This bill was deferred and is currently ‘dead’.

HB795 (Marijuana testing in the workplace) – This bill would stop employees from being disciplined for testing positive for marijuana, purely on the basis of testing positive. This would make drug testing against medical users of marijuana ineffective and would create a range of safety and health problems in many work sectors. This bill was deferred and is currently ‘dead’.

[1] While rules and deadlines dictate that a bill is dead, there are mechanisms that can bring these bills back to life. Nothing is truly over until the Legislature concludes for the year.

[2] A vote of “W/R” is a yes vote with reservations. This normally indicates that the representative has some issues with the bill but at least agree with the overarching intent. This alone is the subject of an entire post in the future.