The State of Hawaii decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis on Tuesday after an attempt by lawmakers to legalize the recreational use of marijuana failed earlier this year.
Under the measure, House Bill 1383, possession of up to three grams of cannabis will no longer be subject to punishment with time in jail but would instead carry a fine of up to $130. Currently, possession of any amount of cannabis in Hawaii is punishable with up to 30 days behind bars and a fine of up to $1,000. The new law is scheduled to go into effect on January 11, 2020.
Bill Becomes Law Without Governor’s Support
The bill was passed by the Hawaii legislature in May of this year but did not have the support of the state’s governor, Democrat David Ige. At a press conference in June, Ige said that deciding to sign or veto the bill would be a “very tough call.” He eventually did neither, and the bill became law when a deadline to act on the legislation expired on Tuesday.
The governor explained that he believes that the bill could lead to further legislative efforts to decriminalize cannabis “and other mechanisms to make marijuana