Hawaii pot, still illegal, could be decriminalized

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - A bill to legalize marijuana in Hawaii is dead. But a measure to decriminalize small amounts of the drug remains alive.

Members of the state Senate Committee on Public Safety have killed a bill that would have legalized marijuana in a way similar to Colorado and Washington.

Dozens of interest groups and private citizens have testified on both sides.

Police and prosecutors argue against the two proposed measures. They say that legal marijuana would entice kids and lead to more addiction. Supporters of the measures argue that prohibition leads to widespread incarceration, squanders public resources and fuels a black market.

Sixteen states have decriminalized non-medical marijuana. Under the Hawaii decriminalization bill, getting caught with up to an ounce of marijuana would result in a $100 fine.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.