Many a tourist has arrived to Waikiki or Maui with big plans to party like a rock star near a perfect Hawaiian beach. Even celebrities have had their vacations marred by drug charges. Of course, local Hawaiians also know that drug addiction (especially to crystal meth) has been a problem on the islands for decades.
So whether you're a local or a tourist in paradise, cocaine use and possession are surefire ways to get in trouble with the law. This is a brief summary of cocaine laws in Hawaii.
State Cocaine Laws
As a Schedule I narcotic, every state criminalizes the possession, sale, or trafficking of cocaine, though their particular cocaine laws may vary in terms of penalties. As a felony crime in Hawaii, the sale of cocaine of any amount is a Class B felony. The sale of 1/8 oz. or more of the drug, or any amount of cocaine to a minor, is an immediate Class A felony.
Cocaine Statutes in Hawaii
It’s not just state cocaine laws you have to worry about: federal narcotics laws also prohibit everything from simple cocaine possession all the way up to manufacturing and cultivation and trafficking and distribution. Federal penalties for cocaine possession or sale across state lines can be severe.
The following table outlines Hawaii's cocaine laws.
||329-14, et seq.; 712-1240, et seq.
||1/8-1 oz.: Class B felony; 1 oz. or more: Class A felony; Subsequent offense: Class A or B felony based on quantity
||Any amount: Class B felony; 1/8 oz. or more, or any amount to a minor: Class A felony
Hawaii Drug Courts
Hawaii's drug court programs, set up to help nonviolent offenders get treatment and stay out of prison, have been around since 1996. The court first began in Oahu and has spread to drug courts statewide.
Officials say the nontraditional way of rehabilitating addicts is making a dent in the drug use and criminal drug convictions. The Hawaii Drug Court Program on Oahu has enjoyed a low recidivism rate. Since its inception in 1996, it has a 5 percent recidivism rate, meaning only 5 percent are later convicted of subsequent offenses.
Drug Court is where qualified offenders are granted community supervision instead of incarceration. They each get a counselor for drug and alcohol issues, and a case manager for real-life challenges such as housing, employment and budgeting. For information here is a directory Oahu First Circuit court phone numbers.
Hawaii Cocaine Laws: Related Resources
If you would like legal assistance regarding a drug matter, you can contact a Hawaii drug criminal defense attorney. You can also visit FindLaw's Drug Charges section for more articles and information on this topic.