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LWV-Hawaii Legislative Testimony

SB 1119

Relating to
Public Health (drug policy)

Senate Committee on Health (HTH) - chair: Ige, vice chair: Fukunaga

Friday, February 9, 2007, 1:15 p.m. Rm. 016

Testifier: Suzanne Meisenzahl, Chair, Women’s Health & Safety Committee, LWV-Hawaii

Click here to view SB1119

The League of Women Voters strongly supports S.B.1119, which appropriates funding for a state drug policy study in order to provide the legislature with information to develop a comprehensive drug policy.

The League of Women Voters of Hawaii, and other Leagues around the country, question current drug policy. Is it time for a new approach? The League of Women Voters in Seattle is a member of the steering committee of the Kings County Bar Association Drug Project. See their website seattle.wa.lwv.org publications index for a summary of the report - Is It Time to End the War on Drugs.

In Hawaii some of the many questions that need to be addressed are:

  • Should drug abuse be viewed as a public health problem and not just a criminal matter?

  • To what extent is drug abuse the reason for Hawaii’s prison overcrowding and the need for using mainland prisons?

  • Are prevention and treatment programs more effective in reducing drug abuse than expensive criminal sanctions?

  • Do current policies take a heavier toll on disadvantaged communities than on others, exacerbating the social conditions that created drug abuse in the first place?

  • Do pregnant women with histories of substance use have access to programs and facilities equipped to provide prenatal, deliver, and postpartum care?

  • Is violence against women and other circumstances, specific to women’s involvement in drug-related activities, overlooked or ignored?

We urge you to support S.B.1119. Thank you for this opportunity to support this bill.


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