Pot will help tourism
In the “arrested and charged” column, I’ve been noticing that more residents are being arrested on cannabis charges. Please be advised, law enforcement, that the voter initiative passed in 2008 made cannabis possession and cultivation the county’s lowest law enforcement priority.
With cannabis legalization in Colorado and Washington, it is obvious that the country has turned an important corner (“Legal pakalolo sales start amid uncertainty in Colo.,” Tribune-Herald, Dec. 30).
In the coming years many states will be moving to legalize. With 57 percent of Hawaii’s citizens supporting this, would it not make sense for the Legislature to legalize pot now? Our representatives would be commended for their “yes” vote. No worries at election time.
If we eliminate the “moral” argument, there is simply no reason not to legalize.
1. Police will save taxpayers’ money and be able to focus on serious and violent crimes.
2. Hawaiians of native ancestry arrested disproportionately now for cannabis possession will not be sent to mainland prisons for a non-violent crime.
3. Government-regulated sales takes cannabis out of the hands of criminals and drug dealers and will keep it away from children.
4. Taxes generated can be used for educational purposes and rehabilitation for those who abuse drugs, including “ice.”
5. Legalization will bring increased tourism to Hawaii and create jobs.
During this legislative session, hopefully intelligence and reason will prevail. Having said that, the very least that needs to pass is a law to decriminalize cannabis for quantities under 1 ounce. That will greatly reduce the number arrested and eliminate criminal charges for possession of small amounts.
Legalization or decriminalization will not happen unless we tell our legislators that this is what we want. Starting now, please phone them, email or write and use the above talking points and some of your own.
Past, present, future
The past: Forget it, you can’t change it!
The present: Be thankful for what you’ve got!
The future: Not to worry, as it won’t be resolved until the day of your departure!
At any rate, let’s hope 2014 shall be a better year than 2013 so that we may all enjoy a real Happy New Year!