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Hawaii decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis on Tuesday, joining two dozen other US states that have adopted similar measures.
Under the new law, anyone with up to three grams of marijuana may be slapped with a $130 penalty but no longer faces the possibility of 30 days in jail for even a tiny amount of the drug, nor a fine of up to $1,000.
State - Legislature - Marijuana - Legislation - Bill
The state's now-Democrat-controlled legislature passed medical marijuana legislation in 2000, approved the new bill in May and sent it to Governor David Ige for final approval.
Ige did not sign it but he did not veto it either, effectively letting the bill, which comes into effect on January 11, 2020, become law on Tuesday.
Advocacy - Groups - Move - Drug
Advocacy groups welcomed the move even though they said it did not go far enough toward legalizing the drug.
'Unfortunately, three grams would be the smallest amount of any state that has decriminalized (or legalized) simple possession of marijuana,' the Marijuana Policy Project said in a statement.
Penalties - Jail - Time - Possession - Amount
'Still, removing criminal penalties and possible jail time for possession of a small amount of cannabis is an improvement.'
Currently, 24 other states as well as Washington DC have passed laws decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana.
Cannabis - Legalization - US - Wave - Plant
Cannabis legalization has been sweeping the US, with the first wave spurred by the plant's medicinal uses.
Medical marijuana is now legal with a card or prescription to use it for such health issues as pain, insomnia, anxiety, nausea, appetite loss and seizures in 33 states, including Hawaii, the first state whose legislature passed such a measure, in 2000.
States - Doctor
In 11 states, it's legal to use even if a doctor hasn't...
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