Hawaii lawmaker wants to capitalize on marijuana cultivationUPDATED 8:04 PM HST Jan 23, 2014Video Transcript
With names like Maui Wowie and Puna Gold, Hawaii already has a reputation for growing some of the best marijuana in the world. Now, a state lawmaker wants to capitalize on that reputation by making marijuana cultivation legal for export to countries where it's legal. Rep. Rida Cabanilla realizes she's raising eyebrows and generating some laughter with her bill---- but she says it's a logical step as the world moves closer toward marijuana legalization. Cabanilla's bill would create a working group to study marijuana farming in Hawaii, and develop an action plan for its export to countries where it's legal, such as Uruguay. Cabanilla says private firms could farm the pot with supervision from state government. She envisions a 25 percent marijuana tax that would help fund programs in education, health and human services. "WE HAVE THE BEST WEATHER AND THE BEST LAND FOR GROWING MARIJUANA, AND THERE ARE COUNTRIES WHO HAVE LEGALIZED USE. BUT SINCE WE DON'T HAVE LEGALIZATION RIGHT NOW OR THE TRANSPORT OF IT, ONCE THAT COMES TO PLAY WE'RE JUST GOING TO BE ON THE GLOBE. HAWAII WILL BE ON THE FOREFRONT TO BE THE NUMBER ONE EXPORTER OF MARIJUANA." Cabanilla's bill has ten co- sponsors, including House Speaker Joe Souki and Majority Leader Scott Saiki. The Honolulu Police Department is opposed to the legalization of marijuana, but at this time it has not taken a stance on Cabanilla's bill.