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State of Hawaii, Plaintiff-Appellee v. Geoffrey Woodhall

September 25, 2012

STATE OF HAWAII, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
GEOFFREY WOODHALL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE THIRD CIRCUIT NORTH AND SOUTH KONA DIVISION (3P7-10-00945)

NOT FOR PUBLICATION IN WEST'S HAWAII REPORTS AND PACIFIC REPORTER

SUMMARY DISPOSITION ORDER

(By: Fujise, Presiding Judge, Leonard and Reifurth, JJ.)

Defendant-Appellant Geoffrey Woodhall (Woodhall) appeals from the Notice of Entry of Judgment and/or Order filed on January 20, 2011 in the District Court of the Third Circuit, North and South Kona Division (District Court).*fn1

After a bench trial conducted on stipulated facts, Woodhall was found guilty of Promoting a Detrimental Drug in the Third Degree, in violation of Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) § 712-1249 (1993) (Promoting Third).

On appeal, Woodhall raises three points of error, including that: (1) the District Court's January 20, 2011 (oral) factual findings are clearly erroneous because "there was insufficient evidence in the record to support that Woodhall was not transporting his marijuana for the purposes of alleviating his debilitating medical condition"; (2) the District Court erred in concluding that there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction of Promoting a Detrimental Drug in the Third Degree; and (3) in its Findings of Fact; Conclusions of Law; Judgment entered on March 17, 2011 (FOF/COL), the District Court erred in concluding that HRS § 329-122 does not permit the medical use of marijuana in any place open to the public. Although not raised as a point of error, Woodhall also argues that HRS §§ 712- 1240.1(2) & 712-1249 are unconstitutionally vague with respect to the "legitimate and necessary" transportation of medical marijuana by qualifying medical marijuana patients. Upon careful review of the record and the briefs submitted by the parties and having given due consideration to the arguments advanced and the issues raised by the parties and amicus curiae, we resolve Woodhall's points of error as follows: Under Hawaii law, as set forth in HRS § 712-1249, it is illegal to knowingly possess marijuana: § 712-1249 Promoting a detrimental drug in the third degree. (1) A person commits the offense of promoting a detrimental drug in the third degree if the person knowingly possesses any marijuana or any Schedule V substance in any amount.

(2) Promoting a detrimental drug in the third degree is a petty misdemeanor.

Hawaii law permits, however, the "medical use" of marijuana, as set forth in HRS § 329-122 (2010), which provides in relevant part:

§ 329-122 Medical use of marijuana; conditions of use. (a) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the medical use of marijuana by a qualifying patient shall be permitted only if:

(1) The qualifying patient has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition;

(2) The qualifying patient's physician has certified in writing that, in the physician's professional opinion, the potential benefits of the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks for the particular qualifying patient; and

(3) The amount of marijuana does not exceed an adequate supply.

(c) The authorization for the medical use of marijuana in this section ...


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