Hawaii decriminalizes marijuana

Hawaii decriminalizes marijuana
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Hawaii decriminalized marijuana on Tuesday, becoming the 26th state in the nation to legalize or decriminalize the drug. 

Hawaii's Democrat-controlled legislature approved the bill and sent it to Gov. David Ige (D) in May. Ige has not signed the bill, but did not veto it effectively letting it become law Tuesday, Vox reported

Ige had until Tuesday to veto bills. If no action is taken, it becomes law without his signature, according to the governor's office release

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The bill will make possession of three grams or less of marijuana punishable by a $130 fine, effective Jan. 11 2020.

It is the smallest amount of any state to decriminalize, or legalize, possession marijuana, the Marijuana Policy Project said in a statement.

But the group said it's still an "improvement" from current Hawaii law which allows "a tiny amount" of cannabis possession to be punishable up to 30 days in jail and fined up to $1,000. 

Decriminalization is not the same as legalizing. Twelve states, including Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana. 

In Vermont and D.C. marijuana is legalized, but not allowed for sales for recreational purposes.