Senate Committee to Hear Testimony on Bill to Ease Medical Marijuana Limits

February 03, 2011

, Hawaii News Daily

The Committee on Public Safety, Government Operations, and Military Affairs will hear testimony on behalf of Hawaii Senate Bill 58 this coming Tuesday, February 8, 2011, at the State Capitol Building, 315pm, conference room 224.

The Bill…

  • Increases the amount of cannabis that constitutes an adequate supply by allowing a qualifying patient to possess 10 cannabis plants and 5 ounces of cannabis at any given time.
  • Makes identification of the site where cannabis is grown confidential.
  • Prohibits the department of public safety from requiring that a certifying physician be the patient’s primary care physician.
  • Prohibits certifying physicians from naming or describing a patient’s particular debilitating condition.
  • Increases the permissible ratio of patients to caregivers by allowing a caregiver to grow cannabis for no more than 4 patients.

Matt Rifkin of Americans for Safe Access is encouraging the 5000 registered users of medical Cannabis on the Big Island to send their testimonies in support of SB 58 to the Senate by Monday.

The Bill, said Rifkin, “increases the patient to caregiver ratio to 4 to 1; increases plants to 10 (and removes mature/immature distinction); increases dry, usable medicine to five ounces; makes grow location confidential and omits it from the card; clarifies that the Department of Public Safety may not require that the qualifying patient’s certifying physician be the patient’s primary care physician.”

Rifkin is urging Big Island medical marijuana patients to speak up for their rights. ”The increases in plants, medicine and patient-caregiver ratio are all positive,” said Rifkin, “but, share your personal thoughts on the amounts. Be mindful that the police will try hard to say that five ounces is way too much…find examples of why you need more (making butter and baked goods, tincture, concentrates).”

“I think the law should also require that NED (Narcotic Enforcement Division) phone number and a set of procedures for the police to follow be printed on the blue card. That way the police will know what to do when they encounter a patient.”

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