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Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Medical Marijuana Patient

Posted June 3, 2013, 05:41 PM HST
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Big Island Now stock photo. June 2012.

The Hawaii Supreme Court has ruled that a Big Island man holding a medical marijuana certificate was wrongly convicted for possession of marijuana at the Kona airport, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

In March 2010, airport screeners found Geoffrey Woodhall with just over two grams of marijuana in a plastic bag.

Despite having a medical marijuana certificate in his possession, Transportation Security Administration workers called county police who arrested Woodhall.

In January 2011, Woodhall was convicted in District Court of third-degree possession of marijuana,

Woodhall then appealed his conviction to the Intermediate Court of Appeals which ruled against him last September, saying, “the written certification does not create a presumption as to Woodhall’s purpose for possessing marijuana at the Kona Airport.”

The Star-Advertiser said the Hawaii Supreme Court on Friday ruled 4-1 that under state law, Woodhall must be acquitted.

The ruling said that the medical marijuana user must abide by the terms of state law, such as the amount must be less than three ounces and it cannot be carried in plain view or used in public.

The newspaper said the court’s narrow ruling also said that a medical marijuana user may be prosecuted under federal law, which apply at airports.

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