Comments Suggesting Legislators Smoked Weed Stricken from House Journal
News Release from Rep Gene Ward, R-Hawaii Kai, March 14, 2019
HONOLULU, HAWAII – Hawaii State Representative Gene Ward (R‐17, Hawaii Kai‐Kalama Valley) was censored on the House Floor last week while voicing concerns over H.B. 1383, which aims to decriminalize marijuana.
Representative Ward, who also serves as Minority Leader, suggested that most members in the House had tried marijuana. Representative Della Au Belatti (D‐24), citing alleged impropriety from the Minority Leader's comments, motioned for the Speaker to strike the comments from the record. Vice Speaker Mark Nakashima announced he’d take the motion under advisement before Representative Ward asked for his comments to be reinstated and that debate not be censored.
“A bill of this magnitude will have serious consequences for our keiki and the next generation. We must deliberate honestly, fairly, and with the assumption of goodwill between members,” said Representative Ward said after the incident.
“What's most ironic is my comments were censored by Majority Leader Belatti, who happens to be a strong advocate to legalize marijuana," continued Ward. "Nonetheless, censoring these concerns is not how we should be doing business in this body.”