Senate Judiciary and Labor on Tuesday (Feb. 26) passed Senate Bill 472, sending the bill to the full Senate for a vote.
As originally drafted, SB 472 would establish a civil violation for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana subject to a fine of not more than $100.
The measure has now been amended to up the fine to $1,000.
Testimony one the measure was heavy and passionate on both sides. HPD and the Attorney General’s Office are among those opposing the bill, while Pam Lichty of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii supports it — although she said the $1,000 fine was “burdensome for many.”
Sen. Clayton Hee, the committee chairman, said the House of Representatives killed a similar measure last year. He expressed hope that the House would give consideration to the amended bill.