Hawaii Senators approve marijuana law! Yes! Hawaii Senators have agreed to approve a new marijuana law and make possession of less than one ounce of marijuana a civil fine versus a criminal fine. [more…] This is very good news! Of course, the Honolulu Police disagree…. stating out of 30,000 arrests last year only 19 of them were for misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Well, Legalize.co finds it pretty questionable if Honolulu Police actually made that many arrests especially if the arrests were drug related. After all, Honolulu is not that populated and to make that many drug arrests or otherwise would be astronomical. Our contentions are if they only made 19 misdemeanor possession of marijuana less than one ounce arrests…then that is pretty weak. Obviously, they do not have a wide spread problem with people committing drug crimes. Or, are the Honolulu Police lying? We are not sure… but the senators were correct when they decided to approve marijuana law as a civil penalty.
So then, by changing the law it would be a burden on the police as people could give a fake name and there would be no recourse by the police to enforce a civil penalty vs. criminal penalty. Our position, is most likely people lie to the police not only in Honolulu but everywhere else in the world. People are people and everyone is different…. and all come from different walks of life….thus, we all make our own independent decisions in life no matter if we lie to the police or not. But there is at least one Senator who has made his voice known, “Smoking marijuana is still illegal,” said Sen. Clayton Hee, (D) Kaneohe, Laie, Waialua. Sen. Clayton explains, according to a study, a savings of 9 million dollars would be saved not prosecuting misdemeanor possession of marijuana arrests. Instead, a 1,000 dollar civil penalty would be assessed to each person found in possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. Here is a tip, if you are charged with just over an ounce of marijuana, keep in mind if the marijuana is not dry….it contains water and when court rolls around do not be in such a hurry to plead to a heavier crime when the water will dissipate and the leaves will dry up and make it far less than an ounce. Marijuana law is actually really easy to defend in so many ways, the problem is there are only so many attorneys who specialize in marijuana law. Marijuana law is mostly based on active or constructive possession and how much is actually being possessed. Most police officers want the felony charge and are not to excited by a worthless misdemeanor.
Too, most cases are easily won anyways, this is because marijuana law is low priority in just about all courts of law. This is because most police agencies do not test the marijuana with what is called a “presumptive” narco kit because they cannot afford it. Plus, they never send it to the lab for testing as it certainly would be to costly for them to spend such money which they cannot justify. So then, most police officers merely testify as an expert witness and describe the marijuana in court. The defense will always ask the officer why he/she did not test the suspected marijuana. Most police officers will be truthful stating their department does not offer narco test kits or lab testing for marijuana due to budget cuts. Therefore, it is well known most prosecutors will plea bargain the case out and make it go away with any kind of conviction…. Lastly, the Hawaii Senators are moving in the right direction here and we hope & wish them the best in their journey….