Thursday, April 28, 2011


FEED YOUR HEAD: It never fails to amaze how may ways the Hawai`i state legislative system stinks.

It's bad enough when a great bill gets to a conference committee and collapses because no one can agree on a version. But it happens. And it's worse when the rules allow one graft-addled schmuck to kill it.

But of course the ultimate stomach-churner is the poison pill that comes out of nowhere to take a fine piece of legislation that has waited years for its day in the sun and turns it into a revolting piece of crap.

This years toxin-toting villainous vexation comes courtes of Senator "Dr." Josh Green who has stolen the pilot program to establish medical marijuana distribution centers and is using it to kill virtually the whole medical marijuana program.

According to yesterday's Honolulu Star-Advertiser when Green got done with the bill:

(u)nder the pilot program proposed in Senate Bill 1458, medical marijuana prescriptions would be limited to patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, cancer, HIV, AIDS and/or glaucoma. It would establish a “compassion center” for distribution on an island where the Department of Health determines there is the greatest need, based on the number of prescriptions.

This bonehead Green thinks because he is an emergency room physician he can say who does and who doesn't need the medicine provided through marijuana despite the fact that he doesn't see chronic patients and has no idea what the medical value of marijuana is.

Admittedly there are only volumes of anecdotal evidence that marijuana treats pain better than opiates- which recently have been called out as the most abused drug in the country- and have allowed many to actually throw away their pills.

That's because research has been squelched by anachronistic, reefer-madness, anti-drug zealots who are way too afraid of allowing marijuana's medical value to be proven.

Green has taken it upon himself to alter the bill at this stage of the game after actually passing it out of his own committee without any restrictions on conditions for which a patient can receive a doctor's recommendation.

It would make Hawai`i the first state to restrict doctors from using their own medical judgment in cases of recommendations for medical marijuana.

We'd gotten spoiled the last few years with former Kaua`i Senator Gary Hooser serving as the Senate Majority Leader where he could make sure these types of bills got a fair shot. Same with former Kaua`i North Shore and Kapa`a Rep. Mina Morita in the house where energy and environmental bills were her kuleana.

If indeed the bill does get to the floor in its current form, the only thing left for proponents is to ask senators and representatives to kill the bill or attempt a rare almost unheard of amendment removing Green's amendment from the bill.

You can write all senators at and reps at and ask them to maintain the pilot program without stripping the medical marijuana program and restricting physicians' ability to make medical decisions for their patients.


Doug said...

Sigh. Andy, you're a bit premature here.

There is no "amendment" for your readers to oppose until/unless the conference committee passes out a conference draft. That has not happened yet, since the conferees are scheduled to meet again tomorrow (Friday).

While Senator Green is influential and a lead negotiator for the Senate on this bill, he must still convince the House conferees to adopt his amendment. Green's proposal, if it is as you describe it, is NOT the position that was voted out by his colleagues in the SD3. As such, Green has less leverage to stick to his new, more restrictive idea.

I don't have a dog in the fight or any inside knowledge, but my hunch is that there will be no agreement and, given the controversy and given the tepid support in the House for the original idea, the bill dies.

Andy Parx said...

Yup- You're right of course. Sorry for the presumption that the article was right in giving the impression that the "current" version had the changes by saying "Under the pilot program proposed in Senate Bill 1458"

Tomorrow at 11 is another meeting.