Ignore Denby Fawcett

Opinion Devoid of Evidence

It’s good that Civil Beat labeled as opinion Denby Fawcett’s 2/13 inaccuracy-ladened diatribe against cannabis legalization for responsible adult use. As it relates to the issue itself, I can count on one hand, with fingers to spare, the number of factually accurate statements that can be found in her piece, “3 Good Reasons Not to Legalize Marijuana.”

Rather than conducting a fact-based investigation of her own, she chose to rely on the talking points of self-admitted prohibitionists, however well-respected they may be.

For starters, she, like many confounded opponents, asks, “why now?” Why the big push this year? I might ask, “why not?” Yes, it cannot be denied that our state faces a myriad of serious and complex issues. Is there a time in recent memory when it didn’t?

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2023 Legislature: A Review

As the conclusion of the 2023 legislative session recedes into the rearview, I’ve been contemplating its successes and failures. This past session, perhaps more than most was largely a disappointment. Certainly, every session leaves advocates and Capitol regulars with the bitter taste of at least some disappointment, but this year felt different.

There was a somewhat higher level of drama and dysfunction than in recent memory.

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This feels like the last straw.

I’m not sure this will ever be published. Or, maybe published, but not “shared”. This is mostly because I’m concerned this post will read as… pitiful. And despite anything else, I am not looking for pity. I never have and don’t particularly like the idea of people feeling sorry for me.

Whether I was looking for it or not, it appears I may have come to a crossroads in my life. Certainly not the first and possibly not the last. I’m not sure how to proceed and I’m not sure how to reconcile my feelings of grief and anger with anything that comes next.

Last week I lost my dream job. One that checked every career box I’d listed for myself. It’s been given to someone else. But, before I get into the details of that gargantuan disappointment, I need to go back. Way back.

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Hypocrisy and the Loud Stomping of Feet

As the legislature approaches the unofficial halfway point of “1st Crossover,” they’re some good stuff moving. Sadly though, there’s even more good stuff that has died unceremoniously in committees.

This is the way of the legislature and there’s absolutely reason for frustration. Even anger. Despite my fairly unvarnished and realistic view of the legislature, the timidity of the Democratic supermajority, and even the timidity of allies, I don’t go stomping around pointing fingers and decrying the process, whether I like it or not.

Friends and allies may disagree with my somewhat pragmatic view of Hawaii’s Legislature and its processes, but it works for me. It allows me to more quickly move on from defeats (which are numerous and often).

I get the anger among progressives when good bills die without a vote, but I also recognize that not only is that part of the process. What’s more, nearly every progressive ally and organization I know has, at one time or another, asked for a bad bill to be “held” or deferred.

But what really rankles me is when progressives cry fowl when that happens to “good” bills they like and applaud when “bad” bills suffer an identical fate.

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