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Marijuana is still illegal in Hawaii despite widespread use

Living in Hawaii, you probably are aware that medical marijuana was legalized in 2000. Despite that, recreational use was never actually decriminalized, which can lead to issues with the law. Additionally, you're only allowed to grow up to seven plants if you have a medical condition that qualifies you for marijuana's use. It was only in 2015 that a new law passed to allow medical marijuana dispensaries.

Today, you might notice lots of people smoking marijuana in public, but despite that, it's still illegal. It's not unusual to see marijuana plants, and it's not hard to obtain the drug in the state.

How does a marijuana violation affect you in Hawaii?

If you're not a patient in Hawaii, then you could face a maximum fine of $1,000 if you're caught using less than one ounce of marijuana. You could also go to jail for up to 30 days. It is a misdemeanor penalty to possess marijuana without a medical card for marijuana.

If you have a medical marijuana card, can you travel with the drug to other states?

No. Since marijuana is still illegal in many states and is illegal in federal law, you cannot travel with marijuana. Products that you buy in Hawaii must be consumed there. Even if you're traveling to a state where marijuana is legal, it's best to avoid taking it with you, since marijuana is not legal under federal law. If you're caught with it while traveling, federal laws could kick in and penalize you.

Federal laws complicate drug crimes related to marijuana. Fortunately, Hawaii has fairly loose enforcement when it comes to marijuana's use as long as you are being respectful. It's important not to drive unless you're sober and to be discreet if you do choose to use marijuana in the state. Remember, it is illegal for anyone without a medical card for marijuana to smoke it.

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Legal Associations

  • HSBA Hawaii State Bar Association
  • Judiciary State Of Hawaii
  • Rated by Super Lawyers Myles S. Breiner SuperLawyers.com
  • United States District Court, Northern District of California
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