Hawaii lawmakers want to legalize marijuana

Published: Jan. 23, 2013 at 4:26 PM HST
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Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Several key Hawaii lawmakers want to legalize marijuana in the Aloha State.

House Speaker Joseph Souki and House Majority Leader Scott Saiki, both Democrats, introduced a bill to legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by people aged 21 years or older.

Nine lawmakers co-sponsored a similar bill in the state Senate.

The move comes in the wake of marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington last year.

The senators say that legalizing the drug will decrease crime rates and help Hawaii's economy.

They say that legalizing the substance is "natural, logical and reasonable" given current scientific research and public opinion.

Opponents, including House Minority Leader Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson, say that legalization may increase crime rates.

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