It passed the House finance committee with amendments on Tuesday, 13-3-1 (the no votes were: Tokioka, Marumoto and Ward, with Coffman excused). The bill was given 48 hour notice on Thursday, so I think the vote in the full House is Tuesday.
I looked on line at SB 1458 SD 2 HD 3, and I really didn't see any major changes. Still only one island, still five year pilot program, etc. I did notice one major typo, they upped the fee for a temporary permit for out of state patients from $100 to $10,000...lol I will take another look to see what else is different between HD 2 and 3. It won't change the fact that the House version is not fair or workable (and, I'm being polite).
We did win this round of testimony, 48-24. The one-line "bad for the people of Hawaii" campaign did not appear this time. The up tick in "opposed" letters came from some patients, who were upset with the House version, and not even that happy with the original bill. I certainly understand that. But, the testimony was genuine, and as with the support letters, real patients were sharing their experiences and needs. We can only hope that our legislators actually take it into consideration. (So far, they're not showing much.)
In some ways, we are doing great with the type of testimony we are getting (including from a 94 year old Navy vet, a Canadian police officer and board member of LEAP, the Democratic Party of Hawaii in previous rounds, and many more). But, 8,000 patients in a tiny percent of the population to begin with, and getting less than 1% of them to testify means we have an up hill battle in being heard. The process is long and arduous, a real test of stamina. A very big "thank you" to all who have spent so much time in front of their keyboards.
Should the bill pass the House, it will go to committee to merge with the Senate version. I'm told there are several proposals being kicked around, but I don't have any specifics at the moment.
The bill is still alive, and changes can be made, which is a better situation than what is going on in Montana. Last week a bill to totally repeal the medical cannabis program (which was passed by 64% of voters in 2004) made it to the governor's desk, and a bill that would drastically reduce the number of patients (by about 90%) passed a Senate committee and is moving along. Major push back.
At present there are about 28,000 patients in Montana, or 3% of the population. If Hawaii had the same percentage, there would be 39,000 patients state-wide.
In other states: Two bills to decriminalize cannabis (possession of five ounces or less, and six plants or less) in Maine died in committee. As did a bill to tax, regulate and control cannabis in Washington state.
And, speaking of bills not progressing, I should update you on the other four bills that sailed through the Senate. SB 1460 to decriminalize, passed 24-0, and the other three were 24-0, 24-1 and 23-2. None of them even got a hearing in the House. That's right. None even got a hearing. Incredible. (Oh, but, of course, HB 1085, which would raise the fee for the medical cannabis permit, did move forward in the Senate and there is a full vote on Tuesday. The most recent version, SD 2, had a blank line for the amount (it had been $35)...we'll see what they fill in, and when.