151 
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES             H.C.R. NO.            
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                     
STATE OF HAWAII                                                 
                                                             
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                     HOUSE  CONCURRENT
                        RESOLUTION

  REQUESTING A STUDY TO DETERMINE THE FEASIBILITY OF ENACTING A
    MEDICINAL CANNABIS (MARIJUANA) LAW IN LIGHT OF THE FEDERAL
    GOVERNMENT'S POWER TO SUPERSEDE CONFLICTING STATE LAWS.



 1        WHEREAS, the National Association for Public Health
 2   Policy, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American
 3   Public Health Association, the American Society of Addiction
 4   Medicine, the California Medical Association, the American
 5   Journal of Psychiatry, the Federation of American Scientists,
 6   and the New England Journal of Medicine have concluded that
 7   patients suffering from AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, Tourette's
 8   Syndrome, and other diseases, as well as traumatic physical
 9   injuries, are finding relief from chronic symptoms and
10   debilitating pain through the use of marijuana as medicine; and
11   
12        WHEREAS, such patients are currently subject to criminal
13   prosecution for utilizing marijuana to relieve their symptoms
14   and suffering; and
15   
16        WHEREAS, physicians, who are aware of the positive effects
17   of marijuana, risk possible criminal prosecution and the loss
18   of their license to prescribe controlled substances upon
19   prescribing or recommending the use of marijuana;
20   
21        WHEREAS, in recognition of the potential benefits of the
22   use of marijuana as medicine, several states including Alaska,
23   Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington have
24   overwhemingly passed initiatives allowing the medicinal use of
25   marijuana despite prevailing federal law; and
26   
27        WHEREAS, in United States v. Cannabis Cultivators Club, 5
28   F. Supp. 2d 1086 (N.D. Cal. 1998), the issue presented to the
29   federal district court was whether the defendants' conduct of
30   manufacturing, possessing, and distributing medicinal marijuana
31   which may be lawful under state law, may nevertheless violate
32   federal law; and
33   
34        WHEREAS, the federal district court found that there is a
35   strong likelihood that the defendants' conduct violates the
36   Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1), and the court
37   concluded that the Supremacy Clause of the United States

 
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                                  H.C.R. NO.            
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1   Constitution mandates that federal law supersede state law
 2   where there is an outright conflict between such laws; now,
 3   therefore,
 4   
 5        BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the
 6   Twentieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session
 7   of 1999, the Senate concurring, that the Legislative Reference
 8   Bureau is requested to conduct a study of the feasibility of
 9   enacting a medicinal cannabis (marijuana) law in light of the
10   federal government's power to supersede state law including,
11   but not limited to:
12   
13        (1)  Reviewing the construction, implementation, and
14             effectiveness of the initiatives adopted by Alaska,
15             Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington; 
16   
17        (2)  Identifying similar legal conflicts between state and
18             federal laws; and
19   
20        (2)  Identifying other similar situations or examples
21             whereby state law preempts federal law; and
22   
23        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislative Reference
24   Bureau submit a report of findings and recommendations to the
25   Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of
26   the regular session of 2000; and
27   
28        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
29   concurrent resolution be transmitted to the Director of the
30   Legislative Reference Bureau.
31 
32 
33 
34                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________