Hawaii lawmakers advance bills on marijuana, elections

Published: Feb. 26, 2013 at 4:44 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 26, 2013 at 8:47 PM HST
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Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii House and Senate judiciary committees are moving forward bills to decriminalize marijuana, curb child prostitution and reform state elections.

The Senate judiciary committee on Tuesday approved a bill to make the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana a civil offense, not a criminal one. Offenders would also pay a $1,000 fine.

Thirteen of the state's 25 senators co-sponsored the initiative. A separate bill to legalize marijuana in Hawaii died in the House earlier this session.

The state House judiciary committee approved a bill aimed at curbing child prostitution by making it a felony to solicit prostitution from a minor.

The same committee approved a bill to establish Election Day voter registration in an effort to improve Hawaii's abysmal voter turnout rate.

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