A post in today’s West Hawaii Today newspaper outlines some of the ideas behind recent Cannabis legislation introduced at the State legislature.

Hawaii State Senator Russell RudermanAccording to the report, “State Sen. Russell Ruderman, D-Puna, is among several lawmakers this year proposing measures to legalize the drug for residents over age 21. One of Ruderman’s bills would allow counties to choose whether to adopt ordinances to legalize marijuana for cultivation, possession, selling and transporting it for either personal, medicinal or commercial use.

The idea is to allow counties ‘to do what they want,’ Ruderman said Monday. He said other states have passed similar laws and “the sky hasn’t fallen in any of them.”

The measure has ‘a shot’ at passing, he added.

‘Some of my colleagues say we’ll be surprised, so I hope they’re right,’ Ruderman said. ‘The nation is changing quickly on (this) subject.’

Ruderman and House counterpart Joy San Buenaventura, D-Puna, also are proposing legislation to establish state-regulated collectives — a system which would allow patients with excess marijuana to sell it to other collective members for a “nominal fee.”

The system is meant to work as a ‘neighbors helping neighbors’ concept, San Buenaventura said Monday, and would particularly benefit Puna residents.

‘The reality is, dispensaries are taking too damn long (to open),’ San Buenaventura said. ‘So by having a collective, it allows those with excess marijuana — more than they can use — to provide to other patients who cannot grow their own. It allows them to give it to those who need it’ -special thanks to Kirsten Johnson at WestHawaiiToday for her coverage of 2017 Cannabis legislation.