420 Magazine Background

Pot-Eradication Program Axed

Cozmo

New Member
Hawaii County's controversial pot-eradication program is going up in smoke.

Responding to citizen complaints of privacy intrusions and alleged police harassment, the County Council voted 5-4 Wednesday against spending $582,000 for "Green Harvest" helicopter operations.

"I just think it's time to stop this marijuana war," said Ka'u Councilman Bob Jacobson, a longtime critic of the eradication program.

Voting against the program were Jacobson, Hamakua Councilman Dominic Yagong, South Kona Councilwoman Brenda Ford, Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole, and Hilo Councilman Stacy Higa.

Hilo council members J Yoshimoto and Donald Ikeda joined Chairman Pete Hoffmann of Kohala and North Kona Councilman Angel Pilago in voting to continue funding the pot raids.

The swing vote was cast by Higa, who expressed reservations about turning down the federal grants.

"We've always accepted the money," Assistant Police Chief James Day told lawmakers. The program started more than 20 years ago.

All three grantsinclude money to rent private helicopters that police use to search for pot plants, Day said. Another portion pays for informant information and to buy drugs, he said.


"It's going to curtail our activities as far as eradication of marijuana," he said when asked by Higa what would happen if lawmakers refuse the grants.

Council members voted to remove the money from next fiscal year's operating budget. That action won't be final, however, until lawmakers again vote to approve the countywide budget and send it to Mayor Harry Kim to consider signing into law.

That second vote is expected at the council's June 1 meeting in Hilo.

The county hasn't received the money, but had expected to get the grants so the funding is included of the proposed countywide budget that starts July 1, Deanna Sako, county controller, told lawmakers.

The "Green Harvest" money can still be added later, should lawmakers reverse course and accept the eradication grants, she added.

Getting future grants will now be harder since that money will be shifted to other states, Day said.

The council's vote won't stop the federal Drug Enforcement Administration from conducting helicopter raids, Prosecutor Jay Kimura told lawmakers.

"Whether the council accepts the money or not, eradication would continue," Kimura said, noting marijuana is illegal under federal law.

That prompted Ikeda to vote against rejecting the money, which he added cannot be shifted to combat crystal methamphetamine, a drug known locally as "ice."

"It's not like we're ignoring 'ice' and only concentrating on marijuana," Ikeda said.

Yagong argued that it's time to look at other eradication methods besides using helicopters. Wednesday marked the first time Yagong voted against the program in his more than six years on the council.

But Yagong cautioned that ending local "Green Harvest" raids may not help the situation.

"It may get worse," he said.

Naeole said the program "terrorizes" people.

"I've gone through it myself," the lifelong Puna resident said.

Yoshimoto, an attorney, said he needs to uphold the law, which criminalizes marijuana for non-medical use.

Hoffmann used the same argument in voting against rejecting the funding.

Lawmakers voted after listening to nearly 50 people speak on the subject. Nearly all urged council members to halt the "Green Harvest" program.

Program opponents talked about helicopter noise and prop wash scaring livestock, overturning tents, and disturbing their sleep. Others said smoking pot has reduced their pain and made life more enjoyable.

"Why are they flying over my house at 7 o'clock in the morning when I would like to be resting until maybe 7:30?" asked Hawaiian Acres resident Kena Slaughter-Miyamoto.

"Marijuana helps people," she added. "It helped my dad when he was paralyzed."

Star Newland also urged lawmakers to end the program.

"Please zero out 'Green Harvest,'" she said. "Please listen to what the people say. Move accordingly and vote accordingly."

The standing-room-only crowd applauded when Hoffmann announced the funding had been rejected.

Some of those people were later overheard talking about a party to celebrate the council's historic vote.


Newshawk: CoZmO - 420Magazine.com
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald (Hawaii)
Author: Jason Armstrong
Contact: jarmstrong@hawaiitribune-herald.com
Copyright: 2007 Hawaii Tribune Herald
Website: Hawaii Tribune-Herald :: Hilo, Hawaii
 

hossua34

New Member
:58: :58: :adore: :adore: :adore: :31: :31: :31: :headbang: :headbang:

..."That's all I have to say about that" - Forrest Gump
 

Cherma

New Member
The article reads that the State may cut off the helicopter flying raids, but the DEA still has the right to use helicopters to look for marijuana, in the State of Hawaii
Do not be fooled by what Hawaii does not want. The Feds still have their way, and will no doubt exercise their power & influence to keep enforcing and intimidating the local people of Hawaii. It is those elected and appointed officials that the people must vote for or against, to either continue their current rein of power or change for where the economic and social attitudes of the people are headed towards.
What Hawaii and its residents are saying is that enough is enough no more helicopters looking to eradicate marijuana. What Hawaii's lawmakers and residents are also saying is it is time to Legalize and Regulate the marijuana industry of Hawaii. The taxable income from Legalizing and Regulating all Cannabis products in Hawaii will be between $50-$300M annually. That is with an annual crop sales of over 600,000 pounds at $ 5,000 per lb wholesale.
The exploration for cannabis to replace the old sugar cane fields has been bantered about for years. The Hemp roducts alone that can be grown for clothing, bio fuels, food by products is enormous in the potential to increase tax base revenues, and other cash generated income. Add another $300M to the above figures.
To invigorate the Hawaiian economy with cash capitol from marijuana has been done thruout the past years. It is a well known fact.
Be it the big ranches involved in massive growing operations, or down to a backyard farmer growing their own stash and maybe having some left over to put few extra bucks in their pocket, or to the true guerilla grower in the forest reserves, waiting out that big years end crop.
The infrastructure needs on Hawaii are barely being addressed & met and any Federal funding has a possibility of being cut off due to the State of Hawaii taking a more pro active stance with marijuana and taxing and regulating the growing of and sale from cannabis products.
Hawaii has made a decision to halt the State funding of the eradication of marijuana by use of the helicopters for now.
No Government elected official will ever publicly admit that marijuana has helped build the economy, businesess, homes, farms on Hawaii over the past 40 years and more.
The potential to add hundreds of millions of tax base dollars to Hawaii's economic future is hanging in the balance of a divided power amongst the states lawmakers. The people of Hawaii will rise to the occasion to educate and inform the people of Hawaii that cannabis has again come around full circle to be taxed and regulated and the rebirth of an ancient industry will be the forefront of all States to realize the potential of the cannabis industry.
California has become a leader in this movement and the Governor has made plans to increase the California tax base revenue from cannabis and marijuana and utilize the funds that will allow the State to become less dependant on a tax structure that needs a big boost.
 

RIPinGlass247

New Member
ohh go Hawaii would be awesome if they decriminalize/legize. Would so retire there and smoke what the good old Hawaiian sun provides.
 
Top Bottom