Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: H.B. No. 2399

H.D. 1

S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2018

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred H.B. No. 2399, H.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose and intent of this measure is to amend the definition of "drug" in chapter 291E, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to include any substance that can impair the ability of a person to operate a vehicle safely.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Transportation, Honolulu Police Department, Maui Police Department, Coalition for a Drug-Free Hawaii, Mothers Against Drunk Driving Hawaii, Hawaii Strategic Highway Safety Plan, and five individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii and one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from one individual.


Your Committee finds that the definition of "drug" in chapter 291E, Hawaii Revised Statutes, includes only those substances listed in schedules I through IV of chapter 329, Hawaii Revised Statutes. As a result, individuals using emerging drugs or other psychoactive chemicals that have not been added to the controlled substance schedules cannot be prosecuted under existing law as being under the influence of "drugs". This measure will clarify the definition of "drug" in chapter 291E, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to include psychoactive chemical substances that do not appear on the controlled substance schedules.


Your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1) Abbreviating the legislative findings;


(2) Clarifying the definition of "drug" to include any non-controlled psychoactive chemical substance, excluding caffeine or nicotine, that alters brain function and results in significant change in perception, consciousness, or behavior; and


(3) Inserting an effective date of July 1, 2035, to encourage further discussion.


As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2399, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2399, H.D. 1, S.D. 1.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,