S.C.R. NO.









requesting the department of health to review and report to the legislature on the medical use oF MARIJUANA.


WHEREAS, Act 228, Session Laws of Hawaii 2000, established the Medical Marijuana Law, codified as part IX of chapter 329, Hawaii Revised Statutes, legalizing the medical use of marijuana by certain individuals suffering from debilitating medical conditions; and

WHEREAS, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state have medical marijuana laws similar to Hawaii's law; and

WHEREAS, section 329-122, Hawaii Revised Statutes, provides that the amount of marijuana a patient or caregiver may possess may not exceed an adequate supply, which is defined in section 329-121 to mean not more than three mature marijuana plants, four immature marijuana plants, and one ounce of usable marijuana per each mature plant; users who exceed an adequate supply of marijuana are subject to arrest; and

WHEREAS, medical marijuana was legalized in 2000 for use only by a qualifying patient who registers with the Department of Public Safety and who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition, which is defined in section 329-121, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to mean:

(1) Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or the treatment of these conditions;

(2) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following:

(A) Cachexia or wasting syndrome;

(B) Severe pain;

(C) Severe nausea;

(D) Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy; or

(E) Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis or Crohn's disease; or

(3) Any other medical condition approved by the Department of Health pursuant to administrative rules in response to a request from a physician or potentially qualifying patient; and

WHEREAS, in December 2003, the United States Circuit Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit ruled that prosecuting medical marijuana users under a 1970 federal law is unconstitutional if the marijuana is not sold, transported across states lines, or used for nonmedicinal purposes; and

WHEREAS, writing for the majority, Judge Harry Pregerson stated that "The intrastate, noncommercial cultivation, possession and use of marijuana for personal medical purposes on the advice of a physician is, in fact, different in kind from drug trafficking"; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-second Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2003, the Senate concurring, that the Department of Health is requested to review the medical use of marijuana; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the review is requested to include the following:

(1) The number of medical marijuana users by county;

(2) The age of the patient and the medical condition which the medical marijuana is used to treat; and

(3) Suggested standards and recommendations on how best to implement the medical use of marijuana; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Public Safety is requested to cooperate with and provide assistance to the Department of Health with respect to its review of medical marijuana use, including providing the Department of Health with relevant information and data to complete the Department's review; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Health is requested to report its findings and recommendations, including any proposed implementing legislation, to the Legislature no later than twenty days before the convening of the Regular Session of 2005; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Health, the Director of Public Safety, and the Attorney General.






Report Title:

Medical Marijuana Use; Department of Health Review