Report Title:

Marijuana; Law Enforcement

 

Description:

Provides that the enforcement of laws related to the personal use of marijuana by adults shall be the lowest law enforcement priority for state and local law enforcement agencies.

 


HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1193

TWENTY-FIFTH LEGISLATURE, 2009

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT


 

 

relating to MARIJUANA.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The purpose of this Act is to make the investigation, citation, arrest, and prosecution for offenses involving the personal use of marijuana by adults the lowest law enforcement priority of state and county law enforcement officials.

SECTION 2. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"Chapter

ADULT PERSONAL USE OF MARIJUANA

   -1 Definitions. As used in this chapter:

"Adult" means any individual who is at least twenty-one years of age.

"Adult personal use" means the possession and consumption of marijuana by an adult on private property. The term does not include the possession of amounts of marijuana in excess of the amount permitted for adult personal use.

"Amount permitted for adult personal use" means twenty-four or fewer marijuana plants at any stage of maturity or the dried equivalent.

"Dried equivalent" means twenty-four or fewer ounces of usable marijuana, excluding stems and other non-active parts.

"Lowest law enforcement priority" means a priority such that all law enforcement activities related to all offenses other than those involving the adult personal use of marijuana shall be a higher priority than all law enforcement activities related to the adult personal use of marijuana. The lowest law enforcement priority regarding the possession or cultivation of marijuana shall apply to any single case involving twenty-four or fewer marijuana plants at any stage of maturity or the dried equivalent of marijuana, where the marijuana is intended for adult personal use.

"Marijuana" has the same meaning as defined in section 712-1240.

   -2 Law enforcement priority of offenses related to the adult personal use of marijuana. (a) The cultivation, possession, and use of marijuana for adults' personal use shall be the lowest law enforcement priority for all state and county law enforcement agencies.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a), this chapter does not affect or alter any provision of law regarding offenses relating to the:

(1) Distribution or sale of marijuana;

(2) Distribution, sale, or use of marijuana in places open to the public; or

(3) Operation of motor vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft while under the influence of marijuana.

(c) The director of public safety, chief of police of each county, all associated law enforcement staff, deputies and officers, the legislature, county councils, and any attorney enforcing this chapter on behalf of the State or its political subdivisions shall make law enforcement activities relating to marijuana offenses, where the marijuana was intended for adult personal use, the lowest law enforcement priority. Law enforcement activities relating to marijuana offenses include but are not limited to the investigation, citation, arrest, and prosecution of offenses involving the adult personal use of marijuana.

(d) The director of public safety, chief of police of each county, all associated law enforcement staff, deputies and officers, the legislature, county councils, and any attorney enforcing this chapter on behalf of the State or its political subdivisions shall not:

(1) Seek, accept, or renew any formal or informal deputization or commissioning by a federal law enforcement agency for the purpose of investigating, citing, arresting, or prosecuting adults for marijuana offenses in accordance with this chapter;

(2) Search or seize property from adults for marijuana offenses in accordance with this chapter;

(3) Exercise powers that may be ancillary to deputization or commissioning for another purpose; or

(4) Spend or authorize the expenditure of any public funds for the investigation, arrest, prosecution, or search or seizure of property of any person for purposes inconsistent with this chapter.

(e) The legislature and county councils shall not authorize the acceptance or appropriation of funds intended to be used to:

(1) Investigate, cite, arrest, or prosecute offenses related to the adult personal use of marijuana, in accordance with this chapter; or

(2) Search or seize property to further law enforcement activities related to paragraph (1).

   -3 Grievances. The director of public safety and the chief of police of each county shall enact procedures to process grievances from individuals who believe they were subject to the law enforcement agency's activities that are contrary to section    -2.

   -4 Report to legislature. (a) The department of public safety shall provide to the legislature an annual report no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session. The police departments of each county shall cooperate with the department of public safety in the preparation of the annual report, including providing the information described in subsection (b).

(b) The annual report shall contain information relating to each law enforcement agency's jurisdiction, including but not limited to:

(1) The number of arrests, citations, property seizures, and prosecutions for all marijuana related offenses;

(2) The number of complaints regarding marijuana eradication overflights;

(3) Information on all marijuana arrests and citations by race, age, specific charge, and classification as infraction, misdemeanor, or felony;

(4) An estimate of the time and money expended on law enforcement and prosecution of offenses related to the adult personal use of marijuana; and

(5) Information on any instances where the law enforcement agency and its associated staff, deputies, and officers assisted in the federal enforcement of adult personal use of marijuana offenses.

   -5 Annual communication. The governor and mayor of each county shall send letters on June 1 of each year to the members of the congressional delegation of the State and President of the United States stating: "The State of Hawaii recognizes offenses relating to the personal use of marijuana by adults as the lowest law enforcement priority and requests that the federal government remove criminal penalties for the cultivation, possession, and use of marijuana for adult personal use." The letter may include other statements urging federal government officials to remove criminal penalties for the cultivation, possession, and use of marijuana for adult personal use."

SECTION 3. Chapter 52D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"52D-    Enforcement of marijuana-related offenses. The chief of police shall establish a policy that sets offenses related to the adult personal use of marijuana as the lowest priority for investigation, citation, and arrest."

SECTION 4. Section 353C-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"[[](a)[]] The director of public safety shall administer the public safety programs of the department of public safety and shall be responsible for the formulation and implementation of state goals and objectives for correctional and law enforcement programs, including ensuring that correctional facilities and correctional services meet the present and future needs of persons committed to the correctional facilities. In the administration of these programs, the director may:

(1) Preserve the public peace, prevent crime, detect and arrest offenders against the law, protect the rights of persons and property, and enforce and prevent violation of all laws and administrative rules of the State as the director deems to be necessary or desirable or upon request, to assist other state officers or agencies that have primary administrative responsibility over specific subject matters or programs;

(2) Train, equip, maintain, and supervise the force of public safety officers, including law enforcement and correctional personnel, and other employees of the department;

(3) Establish a policy that sets adult personal use of marijuana offenses as the lowest priority for investigation, citation, and arrest;

[(3)] (4) Serve process both in civil and criminal proceedings;

[(4)] (5) Perform other duties as may be required by law;

[(5)] (6) Adopt, pursuant to chapter 91, rules that are necessary or desirable for the administration of public safety programs; and

[(6)] (7) Enter into contracts in behalf of the department and take all actions deemed necessary and appropriate for the proper and efficient administration of the department."

SECTION 5. Section 353C-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (c) to read as follows:

"(c) The state law enforcement officers transferred from the department of the attorney general by Act 211, Session Laws of Hawaii 1989, shall be responsible for public safety in state buildings as well as the personal protection of government officials and employees while in the conduct of their duties. The duties of state law enforcement officers shall also include the service of process, including subpoenas, warrants, and other legal documents, and other duties as the director may assign, including the performance of duties of other public safety officers within the department[.]; provided that the investigation, citation, and arrest for offenses related to the adult personal use of marijuana shall be the lowest law enforcement priority in accordance with chapter    . State law enforcement officers shall have all of the powers of police officers, including the power of arrest."

SECTION 6. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun, before its effective date.

SECTION 7. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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