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Tuesday, October 24, 2000

Med Pot art

Hearing to discuss rules
on medical marijuana

By Leila Fujimori

Although a medical marijuana law was enacted this past legislative session, rules governing its use by cancer patients and others who would find it useful must first be put in place.

The Department of Public Safety has scheduled a public hearing Nov. 22 to seek comment on proposed administrative rules to carry out the law.

Pamela Lichty of the Drug Policy Forum will be watching that the rules do not become stricter than the intended law.

"We want to see that it mirrors the spirit and the letter of the law, but it doesn't have restrictions that are not in the legislation," Lichty said.

Scott Foster, who procured marijuana for his wife while she underwent chemotherapy, said, "We've got to be certain that these rules allow the laws to function as we intended, that is, to allow the patient to access and use it with the least hassle."

Foster recalls how afraid he was of arrest when trying to get marijuana.

Lichty said last night she had not seen the proposed rules.

How will it work?

Lichty said the law is similar to the one in Oregon, where a person would get a recommendation from a doctor and patients must show registration or a certificate of legal use.

Police would be able to check for verification because often, it is difficult to tell if a person is sick or not, Lichty said.

Lichty, also president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii, said that in other states, patients have not been abusing marijuana and arrests have not been made.


The public hearing on rules governing medical use of marijuana will be held:

Bullet Time: 8:30 a.m. to noon

Bullet Date: Nov. 22

Bullet Where: State Capitol, Basement Auditorium, 415 S. Beretania St.

Bullet Rules: A copy of the rules may be picked up from the Department of Public Safety weekdays 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A copy of the proposed rules also is available by calling 587-1414 or faxing 587-1244.

Bullet Written inquiries: Department of Public Safety, Attn: Office Services, 919 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 407, Honolulu 96814.

Bullet To testify: Anyone wishing to present oral testimony should sign up and submit one copy of their testimony, in writing, at the time of the hearing. Anyone wishing to submit written testimony should provide five copies of the testimony within five business days before or at the public hearing.

Bullet Call: Al Kim at 587-1414 for more information.


Residents can call toll-free:

Bullet Hawaii: 974-4374, ext 71414

Bullet Maui: 984-2044, ext 71414

Bullet Kauai: 274-3134, ext 71414

Bullet Molokai/Lanai: 1-800-468-4644, ext 71414

E-mail to City Desk

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