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How the Marijuana Legalization Debate Might Spread to Hawaii

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, February, 15th 2011 by THCFinder

BY RONALD FRASER – For the time being, Hawaiians can consider last November’s defeat of Proposition 19, a California ballot initiative to legalize and regulate the personal use of marijuana, as none of their business.  But as this debate spreads outward from California it will, sooner or later, reach Hawaii.

Having started the war on marijuana, the federal government is the enforcer of the status quo — even as opinion polls show the public’s desire for change.  So, it is up to the states, one-by-one, to replace failed drug war policies with something that makes sense.  To see how the future marijuana legalization debate might spread, let’s consider the work of professor Everett M. Rogers.

Based on hundreds of case studies, Rogers says the launch of a new idea requires an adventuresome idea champion willing to deal with a lot of uncertainty.  A handful of “early adopters” will follow suit.  Then, after waiting and carefully watching what happens, the majority of the potential “late adopters” are likely to give the new idea a try.  A few “laggards,” might never adopt it.

Proposition 19 nearly passed in 2010 with 46% of the vote.  Let’s assume in 2012 a similar initiative wins 51% and California becomes the first state to legalize marijuana.

Shortly thereafter, if Rogers is right, states already familiar with marijuana policy issues — including Hawaii — will take a fresh look at marijuana legalization.

Hawaii citizens became familiar with marijuana issues during the debate leading up to approving the use of marijuana for medical purposes state wide, and prior to Hawaii County officially setting a low law enforcement priority on the possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal use.

Other potential early adopters include Alaska and Nevada, where past attempts to legalize marijuana failed but medical marijuana laws have been adopted, and those states that have approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes: Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington State and the District of Columbia.   Legislatures in Connecticut, New Hampshire and Minnesota passed medical marijuana bills only to have them vetoed by the governors.

 

(Full story HERE)


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