Pubdate: Fri, 01 Dec 2000
Source: Honolulu Advertiser (HI)
Copyright: 2000 The Honolulu Advertiser, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
Contact:  P.O. Box 3110 Honolulu, HI 96802
Fax: (808) 525-8037
Author: Pamela Lichty
Cited: Drug Policy Forum of Hawai`i
Bookmark: (Hawai`i) (Cannabis - Medicinal)


I'd like to clarify my comments on the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court 
to take the case of the Oakland, Calif., Cannabis Buyer's Club, as reported 
on your front page Nov. 28. I was quoted as saying that the future decision 
"undoubtedly will have an effect on us."

Actually, any effect on Hawai`i would be only indirect. Hawai`i's new law, 
like those of the nine other states that now permit the medical use of 
marijuana, removes state-level criminal penalties for patients who fit the 
state's definition of bona fide users; it does not affect federal laws in 
any way.

While the court's ultimate decision, therefore, may influence the 
development of buyers clubs or patient cooperatives here, those sorts of 
distribution plans are not even mentioned in the Hawai`i law.

Robert Raich, the lead counsel for the Oakland Buyer's Club, explains that 
the case "has nothing to do (nor could it) with the validity of any state 
statute or patient's rights with respect to their local police officers, 
sheriffs or prosecutors."

I regret that my earlier comments may have left the impression that the 
Supreme Court's ruling could have a direct bearing on the implementation of 
our state's new law. Federal law and state laws on medical use of marijuana 
unfortunately remain at a standoff.

Pamela Lichty, Vice President, Drug Policy Forum of Hawai`i
- ---
MAP posted-by: Thunder