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Cannabis News
  Residents Testify Against Green Harvest Program
Posted by CN Staff on October 11, 2002 at 12:00:50 PT
By Karen Iwamoto, West Hawaii Today 
Source: West Hawaii Today 

Concerned citizens and marijuana advocates crowded the County Council conference room Tuesday to testify against the acceptance of federal funds for Green Harvest, the island's marijuana eradication program.

Following hours of testimony, County Council members agreed to sponsor a workshop to facilitate a dialogue between the community and police. A date for the workshop was not announced.

Thirty - two people testified for more than four hours regarding police helicopters flying too low, medical marijuana plants being wrongfully seized, police using marijuana for their personal use and the need to concentrate more efforts on battling crystal methampetamine or "ice."

Resident Roger Christie, founder of the Hawaii Cannabis Ministry, suggested a "Passover Resolution."

"Put it in writing today that eradication teams are to pass over all residences with 24 plants or less on their property...a misdemeanor," he said.

John Robison, of Kailua - Kona, spoke against the program, noting police seized medical marijuana plants from his property in July.

"I'm not a marijuana advocate," he said. "I'm just a guy standing up for myself."

Acting Big Island Police Chief Lawrence Mahuna, who was scheduled to address the County Council on marijuana issues at 10:30 a.m., didn't get to speak until almost 3:45 p.m.

"This is not a police dep! artment that has a vendetta against anybody. The police department does not condone the taking of marijuana by police officers for personal use," he said, promising that any officer caught doing so would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

He said police will concentrate their efforts on eradicating commercial marijuana plants - patches of thousands of marijuana plants - and not concentrate on small patches in residential areas.

Councilman Leningrad Elarionoff said, "The Passover Resolution sounds good but it's almost impossible to see how many plants are in a patch. It sounds like a good plan but it's not that easy."

Still, Mahuna said he was interested in discussing the issue with the community in order to reach a compromise.

However, he stopped short of agreeing to a one year moratorium of the Green Harvest Program - a suggestion made by Councilman Dominic Yagong.

"I would not be in favor of it," he said. "If we let large operations proliferate, it b! ecomes a commodity and can be traded for hard drugs.

"I would be interested in a dialogue to mitigate what's going on," he added.

Discussion on the General Plan was deferred until the council's next meeting.

Newshawk: Roger Christie
Source: West Hawaii Today (HI)
Published: October 9, 2002
Copyright: 2002 West Hawaii Today
Contact: wht@aloha.net
Website: http://westhawaiitoday.com/

Related Articles & Web Site:

Hawaii Cannabis Ministry

Four Pot Advocates Show Up for Budget Hearing

DEA Claims Green Harvest Rules Followed

Discussion of Pot Rules Enforcement
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