Brian Schatz on Drugs



Hawaii not ready for legal pot; needs national conversation

Hanabusa said the states, and not the federal government, should determine whether marijuana should be legalized. Schatz said he does not think Hawaii is ready to legalize marijuana, but does believe there needs to be a national conversation on drug laws that are "incarcerating young men and women and ruining their lives."
Source: Honolulu Star Advertiser on 2014 Hawaii Senate race , Jul 8, 2014

Build prisons for methamphetamine users

The ice epidemic gets worse and worse, and there seems to be little that the Lingle administration has accomplished that will stem the terrible toll this scourge takes on our society. Rep. Brian Schatz's recent proposal to build prisons for methamphetamine users merits careful consideration.

There are at least three reasons to implement this creative idea. First, it provides an environment where rehabilitation of ice abusers is the goal, unadulterated by the needs of other, presumably more hardened criminals. Second, the federal government will contribute a percentage of the cost of building and maintaining such an institution; and third, the chronic, severe shortage of prison beds Hawaii faces can be partially alleviated by this plan.

I urge the governor and the Legislature to consider Schatz's innovative idea.

Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin Letter to the Editor , May 19, 2006

Criminalize date-rape drugs as controlled substances

Source: Hawaii Legislative 1996 National Political Awareness Test , Nov 1, 1996

Rated B+ by NORML, indicating a pro-drug-reform stance.

Schatz scores B+ by the NORML on drug reform

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2016 NORML scores as follows:

About NORML (from their website, www.norml.org):

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law's mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to achieve the repeal of marijuana prohibition so that the responsible use of cannabis by adults is no longer subject to penalty.

NORML is a nonprofit, public-interest lobby that for more than 30 years has provided a voice for those Americans who oppose marijuana prohibition. We represent the interests of the tens of millions of Americans who smoke marijuana responsibly and believe the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana should no longer be a crime.

NORML supports the removal of all criminal penalties for the private possession & responsible use of marijuana by adults, including the cultivation for personal use, and the casual nonprofit transfers of small amounts. This model is called "decriminalization."

NORML additionally supports the development of a legally controlled market for marijuana, where consumers could purchase it from a safe, legal and regulated source. This model is referred to as "legalization."

NORML believes that marijuana smoking is not for kids and should only be used responsibly by adults. As with alcohol consumption, it must never be an excuse for misconduct or other bad behavior. Driving or operating heavy equipment while impaired from marijuana should be prohibited.

NORML strongly supports the right of patients to use marijuana as a medicine when their physician recommends it to relieve pain and suffering.

Lastly, NORML supports the right of farmers to commercially cultivate hemp for industrial purposes, such as food and fiber production.

Source: NORML website 16_NORML on Nov 8, 2016

Immunity for banks offering services to marijuana businesses.

Schatz signed immunity for banks offering services to marijuana businesses

Congressional Summary:This bill provides a safe harbor for depository institutions providing financial services to a marijuana-related legitimate business insofar as it prohibits a federal banking regulator from:

  1. terminating or limiting the deposit or share insurance of a depository institution solely because it provides financial services to a marijuana-related legitimate business; or
  2. prohibiting, penalizing, or otherwise discouraging a depository institution from offering such services.
Immunity from federal criminal prosecution or investigation is granted, subject to certain conditions, to a depository institution that provides financial services to a marijuana-related legitimate business in a state or one of its political subdivisions that allows the cultivation, production, manufacture, sale, transportation, display, dispensing, distribution, or purchase of marijuana.

Argument in Favor: [Cato Institute, March 31, 2016]: Marijuana is now legal under the laws of [several] states, but not under federal law. And this creates huge headaches for marijuana businesses:

Source: Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act 16-S1726 on Apr 28, 2015

Other candidates on Drugs: Brian Schatz on other issues:
HI Gubernatorial:
David Ige
Duke Aiona
Neil Abercrombie
HI Senatorial:
Colleen Hanabusa
Daniel Inouye
Mazie Hirono

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