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Thread: Pot Eradication Money Rejected

  1. #1
    420 Member PFlynn's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    Pot Eradication Money Rejected

    Hawaii - The County Council on Wednesday "just said no" to $441,000 to continue the helicopter-based marijuana eradication program.

    Lawmakers on May 7 cast a second and final vote to accept the state and federal "Green Harvest" grants. However, those actions were deemed invalid because the two bills were not published in local newspapers, as required by law, following the council's first vote April 22.

    Wednesday, North Kona Councilman Angel Pilago, a past supporter of the controversial program, changed his position. That, along with one councilmember's absence, resulted in a 4-4 tie, which meant both bills failed.

    "I know there was a lot of expectation that I would carry it over the hump," Pilago said in announcing he had changed his position on the issue.

    Calling his vote a "very difficult decision," Pilago said there are better ways to spend the money. He also said he supports ending helicopter raids that have angered numerous people, including some who maintain they are law-abiding citizens.

    "My vote put me on the line," added Pilago, a candidate for Hawaii County mayor. "My sacrifice is a big one. It may have cost me the mayoral seat."

    South Kona Councilwoman Brenda Ford, Hamakua Councilman Dominic Yagong and Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole also voted to turn down the money. Innocent people suffer invasions of privacy and other impacts when police hire private helicopters to search for pot fields, Naeole said. She called for police to focus more on crystal methamphetamine, commonly called "ice," and other hard drugs.

    Ford said her objection is purely financial.

    "I'm not willing to pay one dollar of our money for this program to continue," she said of a requirement that the county put up $63,500 in matching funds.

    Yagong's objection dealt with the helicopters, which he called "very invasive and very intrusive on the quality of people's lives." He said police need to find a different way of locating and destroying marijuana plants. Hilo members J Yoshimoto, Stacy Higa and Donald Ikeda joined Chairman Pete Hoffmann of Kohala in voting to accept the money.

    Higa said he's worried about the federal government taking over the program, which police have said will likely happen if they don't run it. Yoshimoto said he supports the grants because the money would have been used to target pakalolo dealers.

    Hoffmann and Ikeda did not elaborate on their respective reasons for voting to accept the money.

    Ka'u Councilman Bob Jacobson was absent.

    The council's vote drew applause from the dozen or so pro-marijuana advocates who attended the daylong meeting and stuck around for the outcome.

    Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald (Hilo, HI)
    Copyright: 2008 Hawaii Tribune Herald
    Website: Hawaii Tribune-Herald :: Hilo, Hawaii
    Last edited by Medical Marijuana; 05-23-2008 at 07:53 PM.
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  2. #2
    420 Member Cherma's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
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    Re: Pot Eradication Money Rejected

    Hawaii has always been a separate Island amongst the other Islands in the Hawaiian Island Chain, different from major O'ahu politics, road funding, also offers the most land available for outdoor cultivation of marijuana. NO, there should be none, zero, zip, nada, involvement from the Federal Government or for the local governing body to accept Federal or State financial assistance for marijuana eradication for any ariel / helicopter based eradication program. There are other programs more important in Hawaii other than using the money being offered that this could be allocated to. $500K feeds a lot of people, it could help many to have a roof over their heads, or better yet apply the amount of funding to the Hawaiians who have all but lost their homes in a
    $64M bond scam by Hardware Hawaii to facilitate the funding and building of hundreds of DHHL homes, that the contractor filed bankruptcy with $81K assests and $63.8M in debt, the fact was Hardware Hawaii bonded these homes, and now they refuse to honor the bond, has left many families in peril of having 1/4 finished homes, with no help by the organizations who bonded and insured this venture.
    Thank you to the Councilmen and women who turned down accepting the proposed funding. The citizens of Hawaii have every right to vote this eradication of all marijuana away, follow up on some of the leaders above who voted against accepting funding and support them in their efforts to due away with this program altogether. The invasion of ones privacy, the absurd financial drain and spending on this program must stop now.
    The overall push for taxation and regulation of all cannabis products needs to be keeping the momentum of what is taking place on a world wide scale. Medical Marijuana must be allowed to have safe access and safe growing conditions, thank you to the Hawaii State Legislature for passing Hawaii's current Medical Marijuana laws. It is time to continue this effort in making changes to the existing laws, that clarify many aspects of terms and conditions for being able to grow and possess Medical Marijuana, to allow safe access, to those who cannot grow their own medicine, and for caregivers to be free from Federal Prosecution, even though the State of Hawaii have passed laws for Medical Marijuana, it's possession and the growing of marijuana.