Marijuana Legalization Might Finally Get a Fair Hearing at Hawaii Legislature

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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





  1. With all of the rhetoric surrounding the marijuana debate, the concept most overlooked:

    Freedom of the individual.

    “…over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.”
    — from the essay On Liberty by John Stuart Mill

    What happened to, "This is a FREE country"?

    That is what we have been telling the rest of the world for decades.
    Please, let us live up to it.

    Lead by example.

    After spending 5 years in Federal Prison for a marijuana offense,
    I wrote:

    Shoulda Robbed a Bank

    No, it is not a treatise on disproportionate sentences.
    I wrote about the escapades that led to my incarceration.
    I admit, I had a great time.
    No one was injured, no one was killed, firearms were not involved…there were no victims.

    We were Americans pursuing happiness in our own way. Harming no one…nor their property.

    That’s my contribution to helping point out just how ludicrous our pot laws truly are.
    I would be honored by your review.

  2. I spent 5 years in Federal Prison for a marijuana offense.
    No, I did not become a 'hardened criminal.'

    I became a disenfranchised citizen. I cannot vote because of this pot conviction.

    And, that conviction was over 30 years ago. Since that time, I have received 1 traffic citation. I made a right turn on red.

    I am not, and never have been, a desperado.

    During my 5 years in prison, I watched armed bank robbers come and go in as little as 17 months.
    When I mentioned this during my 'quarterly reviews,' it was explained to me that my offense warranted 'selective incapacitation.'

    The Feds have some really creative language to justify whatever they do.

    I wrote about the escapades that led to my imprisonment.

    My book: Shoulda Robbed a Bank

    I would be honored by your review.

  3. The 2010 Supreme Court opinion, written by Clarence Thomas: "Congress has made a decision that marijuana has no medical benefits…" is not only a slap in the face to the tens of thousands of Cancer and Aids victims who find relief with marijuana, but an insult to the inelegance of American people as well. Are those Congress-peeps doctors? Are they qualified to make that call? At least the people in two states–Washington and Colorado–rose to the opportunity to send a cool message back to Congress them. "We'll brook no guff from you quacks. Just as a reminder, we are governed by consent." Should Hawaii climb aboard the refer-endum train? Consider all the sweet non-medicinal benefits

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