By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii is one step closer to having a system of medical marijuana dispensaries nearly 15 years after the drug was legalized in the state.
The House of Representatives approved a bill Tuesday that would establish a dispensary system. It would pave the way for at least 26 dispensaries that could open in every county.
Critics of the proposal say the plan puts the state on a slippery slope toward full legalization of marijuana.
Supporters say the bill is about showing compassion for people with conditions like epilepsy or pain that's alleviated by the drug.
Lawmakers are tackling hundreds of bills in advance of a legislative deadline.
They also approved bills to improve the rights of homeless families and to ban electronic cigarettes in condominiums and on public hospital grounds.