Possession of small amounts of cannabis is no longer punishable by prison in Hawaii.

last Saturday, the cannabis reform bill, which Governor David Ige (D) de facto authorized by not signing it, came into effect. So from now on, people caught with three grams or less of cannabis will only face a $130 fine, with no possibility of incarceration.

Although the threshold for possession is considerably lower than in other US states that have already decriminalized, local activists see this move as the first step toward broader reform.

David Ige, who has vetoed plans to legalize industrial hemp or allow inter-island transport of medical cannabis, has not signed the decriminalization legislation. However, his decision means that the decriminalization, approved by MEPs, would be implemented.

Hawaii became the 26th state to eliminate prison sentences for simple possession of cannabis, along with New Mexico and North Dakota last year. The state legalized medical cannabis in 2000, but the first dispensary did not open until 2017.

This year, at least 19 US states can legalize cannabis use.

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