KAUNAKAKAI, Hawaii (KHON2) — The Maui County Council announced on Tuesday, Feb. 9, it is urging the Hawaii State Legislature to legalize, regulate and tax cannabis for responsible adult-use due to the economic and social benefits that the process would bring.

Download the free KHON2 app for iOS or Android to stay informed on the latest news

Council vice-chair Keani Rawlins-Fernandez announced Resolution 21-19 was adopted by a 9-0 vote on Friday, Feb. 5, citing states like Colorado have accumulated billions of dollars in tax revenue and seen an increase in job growth from legalization. Rawlins-Fernandez said, the guidance in Resolution 21-19 extends beyond taxes and jobs.

“While governments at all levels are facing revenue shortfalls because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the time is ideal for Hawaii to approve responsible, adult-use cannabis. The state and the counties would be able to redirect money from the criminal-justice system to economic and social equity.”

Keani Rawlins-Fernandez, Council Vice-Chair

Included in Resolution 21-19 is guidance on expunging all cannabis convictions and granting clemency or resentencing to anyone incarcerated on a cannabis conviction.

Rawlins-Fernandez is advising residents to contact their legislators and urge them to schedule cannabis-legalization bills for hearings and to testify in support of the bills if they are heard.

Resolution 21-19 uses research from Marijuana Policy Project, the Hawaii Cannabis Industry Association and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Contact the council staff at media@mouicounty.us or (808)-270-7838 for more information.