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Written by Sheena Beronio

Hawaii – The decriminalization of pot took effect last January 11, 2020. Act 273, which made the decriminalization possible, will not consider the possession of 3 grams or less of marijuana a criminal act. However, Act 273 imposes a monetary fine of $130. 

The Act would also expunge the criminal records of individuals who were caught in possession of 3 grams or less of marijuana only. Three grams of pot would fill one teaspoon approximately.

Act 273 calls the help of a marijuana evaluation task force to draft certain recommendations on future marijuana penalties.

Act 273 lines up Hawaii in the rank of states that recently decriminalized the possession of a certain amount of marijuana. The state will be the 26th state to decriminalize pot.

“Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized offenses pertaining to certain amounts of marijuana, and 10 states and the District of Columbia have legalized certain amounts of marijuana for non-medical use,” the Act explains.

In a media press conference, Democratic Gov. David Ige called the decision on Act 273 to be “a very tough call,” but he eventually relented in favor of decriminalization. Gov. Ige let the Act proceed without his signature in support of House Bill 1383.

The governor previously is not in favor of House Bill 1383 as it would legalize pot for recreational purposes. The law enforcement officials might’ve changed Ige’s mind as they’ve reasoned with him that three grams of pot wouldn’t substantially be potent enough to do harm.

Currently, Hawaii criminalizes the possession of less than an ounce of pot. Those proven guilty will have 30 days of jail time and a hefty fine of $1000 as per NORML. Three grams of the pot, when converted to an ounce, is only .11.

In 2000, Hawaii legalized medicinal cannabis. However, the dispensary market had just recently started.