712-1249 Promoting a detrimental drug in the third degree. (1) A person commits the offense of promoting a detrimental drug in the third degree if the person knowingly possesses any marijuana or any Schedule V substance in any amount.

(2) [Subsection effective until January 10, 2020. For subsection effective January 11, 2020, see below.] Promoting a detrimental drug in the third degree is a petty misdemeanor.

(2) [Subsection effective January 11, 2020. For subsection effective until January 10, 2020, see above.] Promoting a detrimental drug in the third degree is a petty misdemeanor; provided that possession of three grams or less of marijuana is a violation, punishable by a fine of $130. [L 1972, c 9, pt of 1; am L 1975, c 163, 6(k); gen ch 1993; am L 2019, c 273, 3; am L 2019, c 273, 3]


Law Journals and Reviews


The Protection of Individual Rights Under Hawai`i's Constitution. 14 UH L. Rev. 311 (1992).

Privacy Outside of the Penumbra: A Discussion of Hawai`i's Right to Privacy After State v. Mallan. 21 UH L. Rev. 273 (1999).


Case Notes


Not unconstitutional. 56 H. 271, 535 P.2d 1394 (1975); 61 H. 71, 595 P.2d 287 (1979).

Defense of medical necessity. 61 H. 71, 595 P.2d 287 (1979).

Identification of seeds as marijuana seeds required expert testimony. 61 H. 505, 606 P.2d 913 (1980).

Purported right to possess and use marijuana not a fundamental right; where defendant failed to prove section lacked any rational basis, section constitutional. 86 H. 440, 950 P.2d 178 (1998).

Under the circumstances of the case, the free exercise clause of the First Amendment was not a viable defense to prosecution under this section; this section is a neutral law of general applicability to the extent it purports to prohibit, without exception, the possession of marijuana and any other substance defined as a "Schedule V substance" by chapter 329, it does not interfere with other constitutional rights, and it does not create a mechanism for governmental assessment of individual applicants for exemptions. 115 H. 396, 168 P.3d 526. (2007)

Section did not burden defendant's free exercise of religion. 5 H. App. 411, 695 P.2d 336 (1985).

Where insufficient evidence in record that defendant had the necessary intent to exercise control and dominion over the marijuana, no violation of section by "constructive possession". 92 H. 472 (App.), 992 P.2d 741 (1999).

Where a Hawaii county ordinance made the enforcement of marijuana laws the lowest enforcement priority in the county, the ordinance was preempted by state laws governing the investigation and prosecution of alleged violations of the Hawaii Penal Code concerning the adult personal use of cannabis. 132 H. 511 (App.), 323 P.3d 155 (2014).



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