House Discusses Bill to Grow Medical Marijuana on Maui

Published: Feb. 1, 2008 at 5:16 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 1, 2008 at 8:39 PM HST
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Keith Kamita
Keith Kamita

By Tracy Gladden

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Patients with a certificate to use medical marijuana have to grow it themselves or take part in illegal activity to acquire the plant.

Friday, the State House discussed a proposed bill to have a secure growing facility for medical marijuana on Maui.

Hawaii's medical marijuana law passed in 2000 and some believe it has flaws.

The law remains silent as to how patients actually obtain the marijuana leaving people like Iggy in a sticky situation.

Iggy has a medical marijuana certificate."It leaves this huge grey area, I'm allowed to have it, but where am I gonna get it from so it's kinda forcing patients to go on the black market," he said.

Keith Kamita is the Chief of Narcotics Enforcement for the Department of Public Safety. "In Hawaii we have 4,047 patients using the medical use of marijuana program that's run out of the narcotics division," he said.

Some of those patients grow their own marijuana plants, which can be a dangerous situation. Iggy said, "I got robbed, there's a machete at my front step and all we want is some protection."

Iggy says it would be safer for him and other certificate holders if a secure space was provided on maui to grown medical marijuana.

"What were afraid of as law enforcement is that your opening the door to a buyers club like what California has where they are already having problems with the Federal government coming in and arresting these buyers clubs," Kamita said. "Regarding the violations or the conflicts with Federal law, I cannot see this bill passing."

The bill calls for one million dollars in state funds to run a medical marijuana growing facility.

Under Hawaii's medical marijuana law, once a patient has been registered to use the substance, they are legally permitted to grow, possess, transport and use marijuana for medical use only.