In Hawaii, possession of marijuana may be legal or illegal depending on the circumstances and quantity of drugs found in the individual.
It is legal for persons with qualifying medical conditions to possess medical marijuana. The recreational use of marijuana in Hawaii remains illegal and punishable by fines and incarceration. However, Hawaii decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana—less than three grams of weed (H.R.S. 712-1249).
The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) oversees medical cannabis use in the state and certifies dispensaries.
Although persons with qualifying medical conditions may possess medical marijuana, it is generally illegal to carry marijuana above three grams in Hawaii. Some factors can impact the gravity of the penalty an individual receives for possessing more than three grams of weed in Hawaii, including:
The penalties for first-time offenders for marijuana possession for personal use or marijuana possession for commercial promotion in Hawaii depend on the quantity of marijuana found on the offender at the time of the arrest. Consequently, the penalties for possession for personal use are as follows:
The penalties for possession of weed for commercial promotion include:
However, if a first-time offender is found guilty or pleads guilty, the courts, with in agreement with the offender, can waive prison time by placing the accused on probation. On completion of the probation period, the court discharges and dismisses the criminal charge against the offender.
Individuals with serious medical conditions may purchase weed legally in Hawaii by registering with the Hawaii Medical Cannabis Registry Program. The DOH maintains the list of licensed medical marijuana dispensaries.
The DOH stipulates that persons living with conditions that cause chronic pain may purchase medical marijuana from a dispensary. However, these persons must have recommendations and prescriptions from a licensed physician.
An individual must be 18 or older to purchase medical marijuana legally in Hawaii. Minors with debilitating medical conditions can buy weed legally through their primary caregiver. Qualifying patients and their caregivers may only purchase four ounces of weed every 15 days from the state-regulated dispensaries. Generally, purchasing weed for recreational use by anyone, regardless of age, is a criminal offense in Hawaii. Therefore, there is no legal age to consume marijuana in Hawaii.
Patients with debilitating medical conditions can have up to four ounces of weed or 113 grams of marijuana in their possession. Also, Hawaii decriminalizes the possession of marijuana quantities less than three grams or 0.10 ounces of weed, making it punishable by a fine of $130 without jail time or a criminal record.
The Hawaiian law stipulates that patients or caregivers must transport their medical marijuana in a sealed container. It also prohibits the transportation of medical marijuana through any means visible to the public.
There are penalties for minors caught with marijuana as Hawaiian law makes it illegal for a minor to purchase or sell marijuana. Any minor arrested for the purchase of marijuana is liable to:
Where a minor who is a repeat offender violates the terms of probation, the judge can place the minor in custody at a juvenile detention facility.
Patients registered with the Medical Cannabis Registry Program or their caregivers may cultivate up to 10 marijuana plants legally in Hawaii. The DOH permits the cultivation of medical marijuana for patients with debilitating medical conditions to grow their weed at a single location.
However, the cultivation of marijuana for recreational use is a criminal offense punishable by incarceration and fines depending on the quantity of marijuana cultivated and the presence of a minor living within the cultivation site.
There are limitations to patients or caregivers growing their medical marijuana, including:
It is illegal to fly out of Hawaii with weed. It is also an offense under federal law to possess marijuana while traveling by air. However, federal laws grant concessions to patients with certain medical conditions who may fly out of Hawaii with less than four ounces of medical marijuana that contains less than 0.3 percent THC. All patients must have on them their medical marijuana card.
No, Hawaii does not have laws prohibiting an individual from being high in public, as being stoned does not mean possession of marijuana. However, consuming marijuana in public is illegal both for recreational and medical marijuana use. Again causing physical inconvenience to others due to marijuana intoxication is a misdemeanor offense in Hawaii.
In Hawaii, it is illegal for a person to operate any vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant. An individual who drives while impaired with marijuana must serve the complete sentence without the option of probation or suspension of sentence. Hawaiian law on driving under the influence of an intoxicant lays down the following penalties for DUI:
First Offense: 48 hours to five days in jail and fines between $150 and $1,000. License suspension for one year, substance abuse treatment program for at least 14 hours. Sometimes, the judge may mandate 72 hours of community service instead of fines or jail time.
Second Offense: A second-time offender for a DUI charge is punishable by incarceration between five to thirty days and fines between $500 and $1,500 or 240 hours of community service. The individual must attend a mandatory substance abuse rehabilitation program for at least 36 hours. In addition, second-time offenders have their license suspended for at least three years.
Third Offense: The penalty for a third-time DUI offense is the suspension of license for at least two years and forfeiture of the vehicle to the state. Also, an incarceration penalty of 10 - 30 days and fines not less than $2,500 but greater than $500.
Fourth and Subsequent Offense: Imprisonment up to five years with an additional five years on probation. The state revokes the offender's license for at least one year and requires the offender to attend mandatory driver education programs and substance abuse counseling.
DUI with a Minor: The offender gets additional 48 hours of jail time and a $500 fine in addition to the original sentence.