Hawai`i’s Medical Cannabis Program to be discussed at public Talk Story event
October 21, 2009
Community invited to share concerns about Hawai`i’s medical cannabis program
HONOLULU – The Medical Cannabis Working Group (“Working Group”) announced today that they will be holding a public Medical Cannabis Talk Story on October 27, 2009 from 6:30-8pm at the Hawai`i State Capitol, Conference Room 329. The Working Group invites all members of the public to share their concerns about Hawai`i’s medical cannabis program (also referred to as the medical marijuana program).
The Medical Cannabis Working Group is composed of organizations, medical professionals, patients and caregivers with the purpose of examining problems with current medical cannabis laws. The Working Group will provide a report to the Legislature prior to the 2010 legislative session with their findings and recommendations, including information obtained from the Talk Story, for use in developing legislation to improve the medical cannabis program.
To ensure that all issues with the medical cannabis program are addressed in its report and recommendations, the Working Group is asking the public to attend and speak at the Talk Story or complete and submit a questionnaire which will be available at the meeting, online at www.dpfhi.org, or by request from co-chairs Pam Lichty at (808) 224-3056 or Laurie Temple at (808) 522-5905. Neighbor island residents, in particular, are encouraged to submit their concerns via the questionnaire.
Speakers are asked to limit their Talk Story comments to three minutes to ensure that everyone is able to speak. Limited metered parking is available in the State Capitol underground parking garage (accessible via Miller St. off of Punchbowl St.) or at the Department of Health parking lot across from the Capitol.
Pam Lichty, Drug Policy Forum of Hawai`i President, stated, “In 2000, Hawai`i became the first state to legislatively establish a medical cannabis program and is now joined by 12 other states. Since then, no changes have been made to the law. It is long past time for Hawai`i to update its program so that sick and dying patients’ needs are adequately served. We hope to provide Legislators with the knowledge and tools to do just that.”
Laurie Temple, ACLU attorney, noted that, “This meeting and the formation of the Working Group is particularly timely given that the United States Justice Department issued a policy directive just yesterday stating that people who use marijuana for medical purposes and those who distribute it will not face federal prosecution, provided that they act according to state law. Hopefully this directive will end the confusion felt by state officials charged with administering our medical cannabis program and clear the way for the program’s improvement.”
Ph.: (808)522-5900 Fax: (808)522-5909 Email: email@example.com
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