State Supreme Court to hear argument for more lenient marijuana laws

HILO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - A group of Big Island marijuana advocates will have a chance to argue before the State Supreme Court for more lenient pot laws.

The group, led by medical marijuana user Michael Ruggles, has filed suit claiming Big Island police are not following a voter approved initiative that makes pot possession the lowest law enforcement priority.

County attorneys have argued that state law trumps the Big Island ordinance, and several judges have agreed. But the State Supreme Court has decided to take up the case, which advocates already consider a big victory.

"We feel strongly that we're going to win this because you'll notice that around the country there are over 22 states that have medical marijuana, and they were all passed by initiative. So how can they follow initiatives all around the country, and not follow it here?" Ruggles said.

The marijuana advocate is also filing a separate lawsuit that challenges raids on Big Island medical growers.

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