BY TRACY RYAN – The Libertarian Party of Hawaii is excited to see that one of our core principles over the last 40 years, that being the legal right to grow, produce, sell, and consume marijuana, might finally be given a full and fair hearing in our upcoming legislative session.
We Libertarians support the intent of the Hawaii Democratic Party expressed in their resolutions numbered GOV 2012-04 and GOV 2012-28. Hawaii’s Democrats resolved in GOV 2012-04 that “all Democratic elected officials at all levels must work to end cannabis prohibition”, and that “the Legislature of the State of Hawaii enact legislation to tax, regulate and control the commercial production, distribution and use of cannabis and to legalize the cultivation of cannabis sufficient for personal use at private premises” and that the Obama Administration and our Representatives in Washington, D.C. be strongly encouraged to take steps to remove cannabis as a ‘Schedule I’ substance.”
For the record the Libertarian Party asserts that the default position should be liberty. We should first eliminate references to marijuana everywhere they appear in Hawaii’s criminal code. The Libertarian Party sees no reason why any special taxes need to be considered that would put this crop in a different position from that of coffee, papaya, or any other local agricultural product. The burden of proof for the need for regulations similar or not to those currently in place for such things as alcohol or tobacco should rest on those proposing them. As such we must share our concerns about as yet unspecified plans, involving regulations and taxes that many of our members may object to.
The Hawaii Democrats GOV 2012-28 deals with the injustice being done to Hawaii resident Roger Christie, and calls upon the “duly elected officials and the People of Hawaii to defend the Constitutionally guaranteed rights of citizens of the State of Hawaii including those infringements by the Federal Authorities”. The Libertarian Party has already issued statements in support of the release of Mr. Christie and has contacted the Democratic Party to inquire what actions they may be taking to secure that result.
After decades of supporting the legal use of marijuana the Libertarian Party is more than happy to welcome our friends and neighbors from the Democratic side to this cause. We hope and expect that support will eventually include all four of Hawaii’s existing political parties.
Tracy Ryan is the chair of the Libertarian Party of Hawaii