The Public speaks out Against Maui Police anti-Marijuana Politics
Concerned citizens are speaking out and asking serious questions in reaction to Maui Police handing out false and inflammatory pamphlets opposing Hawaii'is medical marijuana laws. The pamphlet states that "marijuana is not medicine" which directly contradicts Hawaii State law.
Who authorized armed Maui Police officers, in uniform, to hand-out government produced political material? Why and how did this happen? These are important questions that have been answered. There was never even an investigation.
Read editorials to Maui News from concerned citizens, in reaction to Maui Police distributing anti-medical marijuana political flyers at Wal-Mart in Feb. 2011:
What is the real story behind pamphlets? Feb. 23, 2011
I saw a Maui police officer at Walmart handing out pamphlets and asking people to speak out against certain medical marijuana bills currently under consideration.
This Maui County employee, using a Maui Police Department cruiser, wearing a gun under color of authority, was handing out pamphlets funded by federal block grants and nonprofits. They included a message from Chief Gary Yabuta claiming that marijuana is not medicine despite state law and medical reports recognizing that marijuana is a legitimate medicine.
Are Maui police officers allowed to use county or federal funds to spread misinformation to their financial advantage? Do we want to allow our Police Department to intimidate us into creating a police state?
If you have ever complained to a police officer about a law, you almost certainly heard the cliche that the police do not make the laws, they only enforce them. What do we do now that they are trying to influence bills that protect and serve only the police?
What is the real story here? Is it all about MPD trying to protect its funding at the expense of Maui's medical community? Or is it about the millions of dollars in tax revenues that could save our schools and rescue our crippled economy?
We live in an ideal climate for cannabis cultivation, and that has given us this opportunity to create a model of both compassionate care and financial sustainability.
Brian J. Murphy
February 20, 2011, the Maui News
No medicinal value? Can someone please set me straight on this medical marijuana issue.
In the Feb. 15 article regarding brochures being passed out at a large retail store by our local police department, I believe someone states that this product has no medicinal value. The last time I checked out U.S. patent no. 6630507, belonging to our federal government, the patent information indicates that cannabinoids can be helpful as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.
Our government owns the patent. Again, set me straight. If the truth is to set us free, what is the truth?
Police effort against marijuana raises questions. Feb. 22, 2011.
In response to "Police pan pot proposals" (The Maui News, Feb. 15):
Thank you for reporting this extraordinary situation. I am a widow, former registered member of Patients Without Time and a medical cannabis advocate, so I am afraid, intimidated and confused by Maui police handing out literature stating that marijuana is not medicine, which directly opposes Hawaii law which recognizes that cannabis is medicine.
My husband was a WWII veteran who was greatly helped by cannabis treatments before cancer claimed his life in 2007. I promised him that I would carry on his work to promote veterans rights and medical cannabis. How dare they call my husband a criminal? He was an American hero. Veterans stand up for freedom.
Armed Maui police officers giving out written requests to citizens asking them to oppose Hawaii law and legislative bills seems like it must break about a zillion laws. Who authorized these events at Walmart? Are they legal? Why were the officers armed? Why was the police car displayed? Who paid for it all?
Keep up the good work, The Maui News - there should be a full follow-up investigation.
Police should not try to influence the law. Feb. 23, 2011.
A Feb. 15 Maui News article said that the police were passing out pamphlets opposing marijuana-related legislation.
I think that it is inappropriate for on-duty public servants to try to influence legislation. Policemen certainly have the right to voice their individual opinions on their own time, when not in uniform. But telling people how to vote on the public nickel is not what they are being paid for.
The article said that the pamphlets were paid for by a grant. Who provided the grant? Giving money to the police for the purpose of influencing legislation seems dangerously close to bribery.
The police are paid to enforce the laws, not to make them. I'm afraid that the chief of police has overstepped the bounds of his job in this case.
Police effort has appearance of lobbying. Feb. 23, 2011.
I would like to comment on the Feb. 15 article "Police pan pot proposals." I have been told that the role of our police force is enforcement of the law and it is not their job to question the validity of a law but only to enforce it. It occurs to me that taking a "'proactive stance' to show the public its opposition to marijuana by reaching out to Maui residents at public places" is going beyond enforcement and entering the realm of politics.
Perhaps I am misunderstanding something here, but isn't passing out pamphlets a political act? Beside being outside of the role of enforcement, lobbying for or against any legislation that has a direct connection to the lobbyist's employment should be viewed as a conflict of interest at the least.
Are the police creating a political platform in order to influence the lawmakers and the public? Is this really part of their job? Just asking.
How was effort by Police Department legal? Feb. 23, 2011
Maui Police Chief Gary Yabuta is opposed to the use of marijuana because of his need for job security. He must have victims to arrest in order to perpetuate the police state. I can understand why he wants the public to support this extortion enterprise.
I can't understand how is it legal for our public Police Department to actively engage in promoting propaganda and lies in the color of law while on the public's pay role.
The most valuable natural resource, medicine and sacrament is illegal because our health and freedom threaten the government's tyranny. The USA has more political prisoners than any other nation.
It is true that free thinkers and pot smokers don't make good slaves.
March 3, 2011, the Maui News
It is entirely reasonable and appropriate for the Maui police chief to voice his opinion about legalization of medical or nonmedical uses of marijuana. I am very disturbed, however, to hear that officers are being assigned as political lobbyists (The Maui News, Feb. 15).
Whatever your opinion about the bill, you can't believe that supporting or opposing legislation should be part of their job description.
March 9, 2011, the Maui News
There are issues on which the police may publicly advocate with impunity but the use of medical marijuana is not one of them.
Under Hawaii law, qualified citizens may apply for and receive a medical marijuana license for the relief of pain and other maladies under a physician's oversight. Ergo, not a law enforcement matter.
Police time, energy and presence might be better spent at the front door of our schools rather than shopping centers.
David L. Florence
August 6, 2011, the Maui News
Does anyone know if medical marijuana in Hawaii is really legal or not?
The law is clear that medical marijuana is legal in Hawaii. However, the sale of all forms of marijuana is not legal in Hawaii, including seeds and sprouts.
How can legal cannabis patients grow plants with no seeds? What are they supposed to do, go to the Maui magic marijuana seed fairy?
Legitimate cannabis patients are confused. Official Hawaii police departments/Narcotics Enforcement Division brochures unequivocally state, "Marijuana is not medicine."
Perhaps you remember, in February, The Maui News published "Police pan pot proposals," which reported about the Maui Police Department's anti-medical marijuana lobbying efforts, at Walmart.
This police program seems to be illegal, public-funded lobbying to me, but what can we do? My inquiry to the Governor's Office in May has not yet generated a response.
I would deeply appreciate anyone, including any staff member of The Maui News, answering the decade-old question: Is there any procedure to "acquire" legal medical marijuana in Hawaii or not?
My husband was a disabled World War II veteran and a medical marijuana patient. He died of cancer in 2007, and I promised him I would continue his support of compassionate programs for medical cannabis patients.