Cannabis Issues & the Lowest Law Enforcement Priority (LLEP) of Cannabis:
For decades now, cannabis cultivation on the Big Island and law enforcement eradication efforts — especially those carried out by noisy, low-flying helicopters — have been a political issue. In 2000 and again recently, the county council refused federal eradication funds (although the county ended up providing such funding itself last year).
And what’s more, according to the ACLU’s original analysis, marijuana arrests now account for over half of all drug arrests in the United States. Of the 8.2 million marijuana arrests between 2001 and 2010, 88% were for simply having marijuana. Nationwide, the arrest data revealed one consistent trend: significant racial bias. Despite roughly equal usage rates, Blacks are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana.
And locally, Hawaiians are more likely than any other race to be arrested on marijuana charges.
HawaiʻiTribune Herald reports:
“Between Nov. 4, 2008, and April 30, 2012, of the 1,465 adults arrested on various marijuana charges, 373 were Hawaiians, accounting for 25.4 percent of total arrests. Those statistics were provided by police to the county council under provisions of county ordinance 08-181, a law passed by voter initiative making adult use of marijuana on private property the “lowest law enforcement priority.”