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Hawaii senators approve cannabis legalization bill

Two Hawaii Senate committees have approved a bill to legalize cannabis in a joint hearing, with lawmakers voting to advance it with a series of amendments on Tuesday after taking public testimony—including from several state agencies that strongly oppose or have concerns with the legislation in contrast with the pro-reform Democratic governor in whose administration they serve.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee and the Judiciary Committee both voted to pass the bill, which was formally introduced in both chambers last month and is largely based on a legalization plan unveiled by state Attorney General Anne Lopez (D).

The bill has proved fairly contentious, with advocates who support legalization criticizing provisions they view as excessively punitive and state agencies broadly arguing that ending prohibition would undermine public safety. That said, both sides have floated amendments to address their concerns, some of which were considered and adopted during Tuesday’s hearing.

Despite having largely informed the legislation—and defended it against early critiques from law enforcement—the attorney general’s office reiterated in testimony that the department “does not support the legalization of adult-use cannabis.”

Read more at: www.marijuanamoment.net

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