By: Rick Blangiardi
For openers, I do not have anything personal against State Representative Rida Cabanilla, but we cannot imagine what she was thinking when she proposed house bill 2124 last week seeing to have Hawaii export marijuana for sale and distribution.
Cabanilla, who represents Ewa, has never really been at the forefront of innovation, but in this case her proposed legislation has made news for all the wrong reasons. It is true that Colorado and Washington State legalized the sale and recreational use of marijuana on January 1. It is also true that 20 states, including Hawaii and the District of Columbia allow use of marijuana for medical purposes.
Cabanilla is proposing we do not legalize the sale of marijuana here in Hawaii, but we do make legal the cultivation and sale of the drug to foreign countries where the drug is not against the law. We could then profit by taxing those businesses that grow the plant, and the proceeds could be used for public education, health care, and human services.
The bill is dead on arrival, and rightly so. We don't believe this concept enhances Hawaii's image, and moreover, could serve as a source of problems we do want to have.