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State lawmakers to consider regulating marijuana like alcohol

January 31, 2013
The Maui Weekly

House Speaker Joseph Souki has introduced House Bill 150 to establish a legal market for businesses to cultivate and sell marijuana to adults 21 and older. HB150 would remove penalties for private adult marijuana possession and establish a system in which the cultivation and sale of marijuana would be regulated and taxed in a manner similar to alcohol. The bill also authorizes the state to license marijuana retail stores, cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities and testing facilities. Public marijuana use, driving under the influence of marijuana and use by individuals under the age of 21 would remain illegal. A QMark Research poll released earlier this month found 57 percent of Hawai'i voters believe marijuana should be regulated, taxed and legal for adults. According to an economic analysis performed by University of Hawai'i economist David Nixon, the state would generate $20 million per year in new tax revenue and criminal justice savings.

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