By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii lawmakers are pushing ahead with plans to give patients legal access to medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana has been legal in Hawaii since 2000. But there's no easy way for the state's nearly 13,000 patients to get the drug.
A joint meeting of the House Committees on Health and Judiciary advanced a proposal Tuesday that would establish medical marijuana dispensaries.
The bill now goes to the House Committee on Finance.
Supporters say providing legal access to marijuana for patients is long overdue. They say buying medical marijuana on the black market is dangerous.
Some opponents fear that establishing dispensaries could make it easier for young people to get their hands on the drug.
A similar proposal in the Senate is slated for a decision in a joint committee hearing Wednesday.