Hawaii Set To Roll Back Nation’s Toughest Drug Paraphernalia Laws
What a difference a year makes.
A bill that decriminalizes the possession or sale of drug paraphernalia — downgrading the offenses from a felony to a civil violation — is sailing through the Legislature, despite fierce opposition from state and county prosecutors.
Just a year ago, virtually the same measure died without so much as getting a single hearing.
But, on Tuesday, Senate lawmakers gave their stamp of approval on House Bill 1501 — five weeks after House counterparts did the same — setting the stage for a rollback of the harshest penalties in the country for violating paraphernalia laws.
In the coming days, the bill’s fate will likely be determined by a House-Senate conference committee, which will work to reconcile two versions of the measure — the original with a $100 civil fine for violating paraphernalia laws and the current one calling for a fine of up to $500.