Letters — Regarding Marijuana-Related Legislation Coming Down The Pike

Image courtesy of the Weed Blog.

Hope you all had a great weekend. Did you see those Budweiser ads celebrating the end of prohibition during the Super Bowl? Someday soon we will be celebrating the end of cannabis prohibition…but we still have a lot of work to do.

And, for medical cannabis patients in the state of Hawai’i we really have a fight on our hands. I did want to update you on HB 1963 which had its first hearing last week. Unfortunately this bill, authored by the Department of Public Safety, and designed to drastically reduce the number of patients whose qualifying condition is chronic pain, passed the Heath Committee and Public Safety and Military Affairs Committee, with amendments.

The Public Safety and Military Affairs vote was 9-yes, 1-no (Rep Souki) and 2-excused.
The Health Committee vote was 8-yes (but 5 with reservations), 1-no (Rep Hanohano) and 1-excused

The 5 “with reservations” is a little good news, and the bill was amended, but although there may be changes, I don’t think the overall punitive nature of this bill will change. It’s basic intent is to scare and intimidate those patients who would still qualify for the program. It is a terrible bill.

We did win the first round of testimony, with 59 opposed and only 39 in support. Of the letters in support, 21 were all exactly the same three sentences, and other than saying the program was being abused, never gave personal reasons for their stance. The majority of testimony from patients was personal, and is supposed to carry more weight, but given the vote, that did not happen.

Last year we had between 80 and 100 testimonies per bill, and we have to continue to get word out. More of the 7,500 patients need to share the reasons and benefits of medical cannabis so that our legislators will hear us.

HB 1963 now heads to the House Judiciary committee, where it must be scheduled.

Thus far, no other bills have been scheduled. I will keep you posted.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.


Matt (Rifkin)

PS: If you want to read the testimony, go to: http://capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HB&billnumber=1963 and click the link on the right side.

11 replies
  1. Brian Jordan
    Brian Jordan says:

    As anyone who has read my previous opinions knows. My only prohibition concern with Marijuanna is youth 16-26. Twice Marijuanna has been recommended to my family by Dr.’s. 1st when my wife had chemotherapy and the second time due to my uncontolled pain from spinal damage in the Corps. I have no problem with a truly medical use. I do not avail myself as narcotics have been useless. I spoke to Rogers new wife and she questioned the valididty of youth being damaged by pot. As a teacher I saw the lack of memory and concentration by both teachers and students. I saw that it created a barrier between the teacher and scholar. However for truly medical use. NOT just a money making and laundring system for drug sales it’s use makes sense. Pot was meant to prevent immigration of Mexicans in the Great Depression. I would give it the prohibitions of booze. One must remember that pot does not produce the money protecting sales of ICE and Heroin do. Much like the flow of Marcotics over the border of Mexico. It appears our elected and appointed officials make more money on these sales. Pot is easy and fairly safe to make arrests with which they can hold up to the public as progress. How sad that this is considerd a victory in the failed war on drugs. If one really wanted to eliminate hard drugs there would be hard laws. Laws that are prevented by the Hawaii Revised Statutes. I comsidr someone who sells ice that burns teh nuerocircuitry from the brain is akin attempted murder or eventually death of the user and murders of the innocent. MARIJUANNA has no record of damage like that. It just slows the young mind (teens-26) and increases paranoia. So does booze and many RX drugs.

  2. rangster
    rangster says:

    Hear, here, Mr. Jordan: are you calling for increased restriction of alcohol, promotion and/or distribution?

    Green bottle record is well known. [at the morgue and social services]. How much ebt gets traded into twelve packs, you think?

  3. Brian Jordan
    Brian Jordan says:

    I said that the prohibitions of age and quality should be used. At least 90% figuired that out. “All things in Modration” ( Sorry Jason I read the Bible) Some things do
    seem common sense. Don’t give kids drugs and have a reason use it medically.

  4. Vampire
    Vampire says:

    What I want to know is when is Obama going to kick that well financed drug cartel army off the Southern border of the USA?

    By the way, i believe the human brain does not complete full development until mid 20’s, and a lot of kids are just wanting to game the “medical marijuana” system for kicks. “I got a pain” excuse to an irresponsible MD with a script pad should carry jail time for the MD if he writes scripts for medically invalid reasons.

  5. konagold3
    konagold3 says:

    Aloha Brian

    if you want kids to have LESS available pot tax and regulate it

    unregulated and taxed pot is not card ID’d kids can get pot much easier than booze or tobacco

    as to pot being more or less harmful to kids Ritalin [baby meth] is far worse psychotropically than pot and school nurses hand it out to MILLIONS of kids every school day yet pot is now seen in studies as sometimes more effective in treating ADHD than is Ritalin


    Rev. Dennis Shields

  6. James Weatherford
    James Weatherford says:

    Hawaii County…

    Other options…

    As a trained economist, I have been cautious in buying into the idea that cannabis regulation and taxation would provide the kind of boon often touted by my friends and neighbors.
    I support it, yes.
    But, can we really run government on it?
    The NY Times article above (which also appeared in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser print version 2/12) does not indicate a boon. However, the cannabis regulation and taxation programs in several places are impacting local and state government budgets in a positive way — and the issue of the foregone co$t of prohibition is not even discussed.

  7. konagold3
    konagold3 says:

    Testimony for JUD 2/14/2012 2:05:00 PM HB2600

    Conference room: 325
    Testifier position: Oppose
    Testifier will be present: No
    Submitted by: Rev. Dennis Shields
    Organization: The Religion of Jesus Church
    E-mail: konagold@starband.net
    Submitted on: 2/13/2012


    below are listed a few 31 studies and articles showing the effectiveness of pot on pain chronic or other wise

    back pain diabetes and other forms of pain are listed with Cannabis demonstrating SAFE EFFECTIVE pain relief because of our bodies own cannabinoid receptor system and its pain controlling functions

    Cannabis is safer than aspirin as one can die from aspirin or loose there liver as happens with Tylenol not so with Cannabis

    Please do not let the primitive intent of the hammer of law enforcement types to intrude into our safe and effective control of our pain and view voters and citizens as tho we were the nails for them to hammer

    if the bill is passed what about those of use who have had this medicine for a decade ??

    are we grandfathered??

    by changing the rules you have entrapped us in that the Department has our names registered a ex-post facto violation of our State Constitutional rights to Privacy

    after all the Department of Public Safety is created for the benefit of the public however its attitude seems to be in this bill for us the public to serve the needs of the Department

    that’s just wrong

    if the milk of human kindness flows in your veins you will reject this heavy handed attempt at totalitarianism by the Department

    bury this bill in the grave of McCarthyism Hoover-ism Anslinger-ism where it belongs or at the very least Please remove Section 4 from this bill.


    Rev. Dennis Shields

    1 Pain modulation by release of the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide (full – 1999)

    2 Brain Releases Marijuana-Like Substance In Response To Pain, Study Finds
    (news – 1999) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991013074947.htm

    3 Endocannabinoid metabolism and uptake: novel targets for neuropathic and inflammatory pain (full – 2007) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2190014/?tool=pubmedi

    4 Marijuana-Inspired Painkiller? New Chemical Pathway Discovered (news – 2008)

    5 Julie Falco brings hope to Multiple Sclerosis patients. Cannabinoids manage pain and promote repair! (news – 2010)

    6 Role of the Cannabinoid System in Pain Control and Therapeutic Implications for the Management of Acute and Chronic Pain Episodes (full – 2006)

    7 Endocannabinoid metabolism and uptake: novel targets for neuropathic and inflammatory pain (full – 2007) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2190014/?tool=pubmed

    8 Cannabinoid CB2 receptors: a therapeutic target for the treatment of inflammatory and neuropathic pain (full – 2007) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2219541/?tool=pmcentrezCannabinoid CB2 receptors: a therapeutic target for the treatment of inflammatory and neuropathic pain (full – 2007) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2219541/?tool=pmcentrez

    9 A cannabinoid agonist differentially attenuates deep tissue hyperalgesia in animal models of cancer and inflammatory muscle pain. (abst – 2007)

    10 Constituents Of Hashish And Marijuana May Help To Fight Inflammation And Allergies (news – 2007) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070607171120.htm

    11 Father: Medical marijuana eased pain of my cancer-battling son (anecdotal – 2011)

    12 Marijuana Extract Helps Arthritis Pain (news – 2000)

    13 Rheumatoid arthritis, Cannabis based medicine eases pain and suppresses disease
    (news – 2005) http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/33376.php

    14 Cannabis-Based Drug Relieves Arthritis Pain (news – 2005)

    15 First study to use a cannabis-based medicine for treating rheumatoid arthritis
    (news – 2005) http://www.news-medical.net/news/2005/11/09/14393.aspx

    16 Pot-Based Drug Promising for Arthritis (news – 2005)

    17 Preliminary assessment of the efficacy, tolerability and safety of a cannabis-based medicine
    (Sativex) in the treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis (full – 2006)

    18 The use of a cannabis-based medicine (Sativex) in the treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis (letter – 2006) http://rheumatology.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/45/6/781

    19 Cannabinoids for Treatment of Chronic Non-Cancer Pain; a Systematic Review of Randomized Trials. (abst – 2011) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21426373


    20 Investigational pharmacology for low back pain (full – 2010)
    ` http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3004649/?tool=pmcentrez

    21 Initial experiences with medicinal extracts of cannabis for chronic pain: Results from 34 ‗N of 1‘ studies (full – 2004) http://www.ukcia.org/research/InitialExperiencesChronicPain.pdf

    22 Role of the Cannabinoid System in Pain Control and Therapeutic Implications for the Management of Acute and Chronic Pain Episodes (full – 2006) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2430692/?tool=pubmed

    23 Cannabinoids inhibit and may prevent neuropathic pain in diabetes. (news – 2010)

    24 Lab Notes: Pot Has Benefits for Diabetic Hearts (news – 2010)

    25 Cannabis effective at relieving pain after major surgery (news – 2006)

    26 Cannabinoid CB2 receptors: a therapeutic target for the treatment of inflammatory and neuropathic pain (full – 2007) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2219541/?tool=pmcentrez

    27 Cannabinoid-mediated modulation of neuropathic pain and microglial accumulation in a model of murine type I diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain (full – 2010)

    28 Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain (full – 2008)

    29 A Dramatic Response to Inhaled Cannabis in a Woman with Central Thalamic Pain and Dystonia (full – 2002) http://www.jpsmjournal.com/article/PIIS0885392402004268/fulltext

    30 Body’s Pot-Like Chemicals May Help Curb Pain (news – 2005)

    31 Body’s Own Marijuana-Like Compounds Are Crucial For Stress-Induced Pain Relief (news – 2005) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050628064435.htm

  8. Vampire
    Vampire says:

    The left wing neo-nazi pot militia bong squad is at it again I see with more NON double Blinded fake science.

    There are tons of links to non double blinded study opinions out there, studies funded by legalization agenda groups.

    It’s the same two or three pro pot bloggers over & over year after year.

    Apparently even their pot inhibited brains can still manage to search Google then copy and paste links. But then a monkey can be trained to do that also so I AM NOT IMPRESSED!

  9. konagold3
    konagold3 says:

    @ Vampire

    you write “I AM NOT IMPRESSED!”

    are you so ego driven that YOU think that WE think that YOU need to be impressed

    or that your insult driven rhetoric is some how the arbitrator of the truth

    it is a real chortle to view your retort which offers zero refutation of any of the double blind studies or ARTICLES [un-peer reviewed news reports on such studies] only sophomoric name calling and infantile kindergarten sandbox ridicule

    you must be a student of Sal Alinsky

    since you bring up Nazis ; it is the pro-prohibition advocates who take on the characteristics of book burning and concentration camps as supporting the continuation of the American Drug Gulag which imprisons 25% of the worlds population of prisoners in a country with only about 5% of the worlds population is a VILE EVIL

    Wise UP

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