Should Hawaii totally legalize marijuana for leisure use?
An reply to that query just isn’t definitive, as 43% of registered voters mentioned sure in our latest ballot whereas 42% mentioned no.
Given that the Civil Beat/Hawaii News Now ballot has a plus or minus margin of two.5 proportion factors, the survey outcomes translate right into a tie. Another 10% mentioned it didn’t matter to them both manner.
But assist for pakalolo for grownup use seems on the rise. In December 2017, 55% of respondents mentioned they opposed legalizing pot whereas 36% supported it.
Matthew Fitch, managing accomplice of MRG Research, which performed the ballot, in contrast the assist to the evolution of views on civil unions and homosexual marriage.
“Society’s views are changing but you are also at a tipping point on what the correct response is,” he mentioned. “With those previous issues, it seemed like things flipped overnight. In fact, what really happened is people just became more comfortable expressing what they already felt.”
Political ideology is an element on the subject of cannabis: Lots of liberals and progressives like weed, however Republicans and conservatives are much less enthused.
More telling, nonetheless, is age and ethnicity.
“Younger, whiter and more male voters are in favor of legalization,” mentioned Fitch. “Income and education are not factors.”
One different main distinction: People on the neighbor islands favor legalization way over folks on Oahu.
Asked for remark, Fitch paused after which requested this, maybe rhetorically: “Have you ever been to the North Shore of Kauai?”
Civil Beat/HNN sampled 1,506 registered voters statewide on the marijuana query. We have been curious to see how attitudes is likely to be altering given the development nationwide.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 17 states, two territories and the District of Columbia have legalized small quantities of pot for grownup leisure use.
On April 7, NCSL reports, Virginia’s legislature accepted the governor’s advisable amendments for “a significantly speedier implementation window” for a invoice that will legalize leisure cannabis use in that state and set up a regulated business market.
New York additionally legalized cannabis this yr, whereas New Mexico’s legislature launched its Cannabis Regulation Act in a particular session. That invoice has since been signed into regulation by New Mexico’s governor.
Hawaii has begun to shift towards the inexperienced bud as effectively, however haltingly. It decriminalized as much as 3 grams of pakalolo underneath a 2019 regulation that took impact final yr, changing prison penalties with a $130 tremendous.
However, a invoice that will have elevated that quantity to 1 ounce and one other that proposed legalizing the non-public use, possession and sale of cannabis, each died this previous legislative session.
Even if the measures have been handed, Gov. David Ige is on report as opposing the comfort of pot legal guidelines, as ganja stays a Schedule I drug on the federal registry akin to heroin, LSD and peyote.
Verna Hanashiro, 77, of Kaneohe, doesn’t need pot legalized.
“It’s a gateway drug to other drugs and I just don’t think it’s a good thing to do,” she mentioned.
Medical marijuana is a unique matter, nonetheless.
“It’s OK to use under the prescription of a doctor and supervision and control,” mentioned Hanashiro, a retired nurse practitioner with a Ph.D. in nursing who taught on the University of Hawaii and Hawaii Pacific University.
Dorothy Case of Kona, a former educator, has a unique take.
“I am 77 years old and we were the hippie generation,” she mentioned by means of clarification. “I also lived for two years in Switzerland where they had hashish.”
For Case, who has glaucoma however discovered it tough to get a prescription for medical pot on the Big Island, marijuana helps her to loosen up and to sleep — her husband, too.
“Our children live in Portland, Oregon, and we have visited Colorado and California, and we bought marijuana at every place — the edibles. It’s just not possible for us to smoke. It’s too harsh on our lungs.”
One of Case’s sons is an emergency room doctor, and he has advised his mom that it’s not attainable to die from an overdose of pot.
And Case’s husband is concerned with the Hawaii Farmers Union United, which represents and advocates for farmers and ranchers on all islands.
“Hawaii has the perfect climate for growing marijuana, and I think it would be a wonderful industry and another crop that we could be growing,” she mentioned.
Read the total outcomes of the Civil Beat/Hawaii News Now ballot right here: