Hawaii Governor Approves Rules for Medical Marijuana
Hawaii Gov. Benjamin Cayetano (D) has approved rules legalizing marijuana for medicinal use, allowing them to take effect Dec. 28, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports. Last year, the state Legislature had passed a law legalizing medical marijuana, but instructed the state Department of Public Safety to devise rules to administer its use. Under the rules, which the department will administer, physicians will issue certificates to patients "to use marijuana to ease their pain." Before licensed physicians can give patients approval to use the drug, they first must obtain certificates from the department. After receiving a certificate from a physician, patients must pay a $25 fee and register with the department. Patients with certificates may possess up to three ounces of the drug and grow seven plants, "three mature ... and four immature." The rules require physicians to notify the department when a patient "no longer requires" use of the drug. As the state implements the rules, it also is working to resolve a conflict with a federal law that prohibits medicinal use of the plant (Tully, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 12/19).