Hawaii marijuana bill goes up in smoke

Published: Feb. 12, 2013 at 3:42 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 12, 2013 at 7:54 PM HST
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Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - A bill that would have legalized marijuana in Hawaii has died in the state House.

House judiciary committee Chairman Karl Rhoads said Tuesday that he decided to kill the bill after learning from House leadership that the initiative does not have enough votes to pass the House.

Key lawmakers in the Democratic-controlled House supported the measure, including the speaker and the majority leader.

The proposal would have legalized marijuana for recreational use for people aged 21 or older.

The initiative ignited an outpouring of public testimony that reflected sharply divided public opinion.

Law enforcement officials presented strong opposition to the proposal.

The attempt to legalize the marijuana comes just months after Colorado and Washington legalized the drug. Federal law still prohibits possession or distribution of marijuana.

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