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On HawaiiCannabis.org we educate and raise awareness. Without education and a certain awareness of the facts, patients in Hawaii are susceptible to rules, laws, regulations and separation from medicine and personal freedom. A few facts could help you avoid arrest. Thousands of Hawaii Cannabis prisoners are in jail now for minor errors in compliance.

The state has never provided the education necessary for either law enforcement or licensed patients.

Licensed Cannabis patients are acting illegally when they possess or consume Cannabis medicine with a Doctor certification. Cannabis in Hawaii has not been decriminalized.

The caregiver program was greatly limited during last year’s legislative session. Skilled caregivers who grow for more than one patient have been and continue to be arrested for serving more than one patient. Patients using more than one caregiver are also acting illegally. The caregiver program itself becomes illegal at the end of 2018.

Transporting Cannabis is made intentionally murky on the DOH website. Contrary to legislative intent and the law, registered patients and caregivers are prohibited from “acquiring, possessing, cultivating, using, distributing or transporting  marijuana or paraphernalia in ALL public places including public parks, beaches, recreation centers, youth centers, or school grounds; and in any moving vehicle.” -Hawaii State Department of Health.

The confusion created by lawmakers and the Hawaii State Department of Health appears to be a systematic approach to limit patient access to the program.

There is little trust among non-licensed patients. Licensed patients feel they are compliant when they actually are not.

There is no legal definition for a Cannabis plant in Hawaii. It’s still illegal to acquire seeds or clones. Yet dispensaries may have an unlimited number of plants so long as they are under 12 inches tall or wide.

The Federal government have stated that they will remain hands-off when it comes to state medical Cannabis programs. The state of Hawaii prohibits registered patients and caregivers from transporting Cannabis inter-island. Lawyers we spoke with have stated that the Hawaii State Medical Marijuana Program is entirely illegal.

The Department of Health website also states, “It was further amended to allow registered patients and caregivers OR dispensary owners and employees to transport medical marijuana in public IF the medical marijuana is:

It’s unclear how a Cannabis patient can take their medicine home. Will the police wait outside as they do at bars for customers to leave? It’s also unclear whether a ziplock baggie is a sealed container in the eyes of law enforcement who profess and publish publicly, “Marijuana is Not Medicine“. This is being done in schools, churches and anywhere ignorance thrives.

In states where health is a concern for children, laws are being passed to allow the administration of Cannabis. Adderall and Ritalin are already given in school with side effects that include:

Caution! If you plan to allow your child to use Cannabis instead of Adderall and Ritalin consult with a Doctor and an attorney. Lawmakers and the Department of Health stand silent on the key issues you need to understand to maintain your freedom. Police in Hawaii may arrest you. Child protective services may take your child and you could lose all medical benefits for your child.  

Patients of all ages are being forced to learn about the law via police raid, courtroom appearance and a defense lawyer is unethical at best. When children are subjected to police raids and interrogations it leaves trauma, not justice. Laws must be clarified before the DOH medical MARIHUANA program can build any level of trust among citizens. The state knows this and has systematically attempted to reduced program participation for 15 years. 

Caregivers will have a few more growing cycles before their efforts become illegal. Limits by lawmakers restrict medicine by allowing caregivers to only grow for one patient. Patients who continue to rely on a caregiver after the next change in laws may be arrested on entirely new felonies. If you were relying on someone else to grow and process your medicine and that caregiver is caught consuming you can be arrested today.

Until you are aware of all of the new laws passed during the last session, it is critical that you do not talk to police if they raid your home. One seemingly simple answer to a tricky question could land you in prison, separating you from the medicine you need. Even a mistake by an uneducated law enforcement agent could lead to your arrest. Do something wrong during an arrest, like reaching for those trimming scissors and you could be killed. This potentially life-threatening situation is draconian and indicative of prohibition mindsets in our elected officials.

When patients are arrested they can only use an affirmative defense “if” they followed every rule, regulation and law and the judge allows a jury to know that you are a licensed Cannabis patient. Otherwise, you’re just a common criminal. Your license will not be allowed into evidence and the jury will not even know you are a patient. The Hawaii state judiciary is known to jail patients for minor infractions. In our aging population of Cannabis patients this often means facing a life sentence in prison.

The 50+ applicants seeking to provide medicine to patients were reduced to just eight. Four people selected by the department of health made this decision. Patients and caregivers were not represented.

No dispensaries have opened. Even if they were ready, they cannot open until the Department of Health implements control software for plants. There is no rule or regulation requiring dispensaries to ever open. There is no financial incentive for a dispensary to open until 2018. Lawmakers gave dispensary owners a free gift when they legalized reciprocity.

On any given day in 2018 there could be more dispensary customers from out of state than live on our island. Cannabis dispensary lobbyists are fighting to take away the ability for patients to grow. They are fighting to limit the number of dispensaries in Hawaii to eight for another year.

Good luck out there! Stay safe, stay healthy and stay legal!