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Your Views for July 31

Cannabis lifeboat

I’ve been beating the drum for an emergency measure to begin a legal cannabis economy for Hawaii County. We were in a “crisis” before the lava, now it’s obviously much worse.

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I’ve written to the governor and all County Council members, Mayor Harry Kim, Police Chief Paul Ferreira, etc., supporting there’s a safe, natural, sustainable and proven lifeboat for our sinking ship. The obvious lifeboat is to repeal prohibition and allow a cannabis economy to begin. There’s no need to wait for the feds. Let freedom ring!

In one day, we could increase the happiness and hope of our own people and of those around the world who have watched us suffer. In 120 days, we could have a world famous harvest festival attracting multi-millions of new visitor dollars. In theory, everyone’s backyard could be a “profit center,” making them thousands of dollars before Thanksgiving. What’s not to like?

Colorado has sold $5 billion worth of recreational cannabis since the state legalized in 2014. Taxes collected there now pay for worthy projects.

It’s a proven fact that fewer teenagers use cannabis where it’s normalized. No forbidden fruit equals less interest.

There’s nothing else that comes close to the potential value of a legal cannabis economy. “Hawaii Cannabis,” “Puna Buttah,” “Kona Gold,” etc., are still world famous marketing brands.

It’s one thing if there is no lifeboat to save us. It’s quite another if the captain of the ship (governor) denies there is a lifeboat, or prohibits “we the people” from getting in it. That’s malfeasance, or misfeasance in office, or worse. It’s unacceptable. We the people demand our own survival. The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness, not in prohibition.

All the “Reefer Madness” lies and D.A.R.E. Program propaganda has been debunked for marijuana. The decades-old drug war fraud has been exposed by Hawaii legally changing the name “marijuana,” a prejudicial word with negative racial stereotypes, to “medical cannabis” for the dispensaries, but it’s still marijuana when police want to arrest and prosecute ordinary people for the same plant. It’s just “prohibition 2.0” and unacceptable.

Hawaii County voters passed the “Peaceful Sky” ballot initiative in 2008 which included 24 cannabis plants (a misdemeanor) per property as the lowest law enforcement priority. That same vote would be much larger 10 years later. Now I want those 24 plants to be legal to made into healthy, useful products to sell, and I’ll bet most Hawaii County citizens do, too.

I’ve been asked by Hawaii County Councilwoman Jen Ruggles to draft a resolution to monetize a cannabis economy here now. We want this on the agenda and open to a public hearing and a vote ASAP.

The need here is obvious and so is the remedy. Repeal prohibition, and let freedom ring!

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Roger Christie

Hilo