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Hawaii Attorney General Unveils Draft Marijuana Legalization Bill, Drawing Mixed Reactions From Lawmakers And Advocates

Hawaii’s attorney general has released a comprehensive proposal to legalize adult-use marijuana—with lawmakers already expressing interest in advancing it as advocates call for revisions to bolster equity provisions and remove language that could perpetuate criminalization.

Attorney General Anne Lopez (D), who announced her office’s support for cannabis legalization in April and pledged to work with the legislature to enact the reform, unveiled the 294-page legislation on Friday. Under the proposal, a regulatory framework would be established to allow adults 21 and older to possess, cultivate and purchase marijuana from licensed retailers.

Hawaii lawmakers have introduced legalization legislation in recent sessions, with the Senate passing a reform bill in March, but it’s yet to be enacted. Legislators and the attorney general have signaled that 2024 is the year legalization will become law.

For his part, House Judiciary Committee Chairman David Tarnas (D) told Hawaii News Now that the attorney general did “a really good job pulling together all of the different input and providing a comprehensive bill.”

Sen. Jarrett Keohokalole (D), chair of the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee, said the attorney’s proposal is “the best version to date,” touting the measure’s “efforts to try and address a lot of

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