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Pakalolo’s Long History, Regulated Future In Hawaii

Despite Hawaii’s centuries-old appreciation for medicinal marijuana, dispensaries coming on line later this year are unlikely to make access and affordability better for patients.

Pakalolo is the Hawaiian word for cannabis and it literally means “numbing tobacco.” The chronicled use of cannabis in the Hawaiian Islands, appearing in the Hawaiian Language Newspaper Ka Nonanona, goes as far back as the year 1842 – though cannabis use probably goes back much further. Advertisements for medical cannabis continued in Hawaiian newspapers throughout the 19th century.

The criminalization of cannabis in Hawaii came shortly after the U.S. government unilaterally laid its claim to the Hawaiian Islands and made Hawaii an “organized incorporated territory” (a fancy term for “colony” without the stigma associated with “colonization”), despite substantial, and arguably, overwhelming opposition by the Hawaiian people.

The Hawaiian Islands and its people, controversially claimed by the United States,

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