The Conversation: Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Jan 25, 2017

Will 2017 Be the Year of Decriminalization? Measuring Economic Value of Conservation; Buffalo Soldiers On Stage; Balancing Culture and New Discovery

Drug Policy Forum Hawaii has made marijuana decriminalization a priority for 2017.
Credit Katherine Hitt

Including Conservation in Economic Activity: Joseph Shacat

Joseph Shacat, Chair of the State Environmental Council
Credit Joseph Shacat

Today the Environmental Protection Agency is under a media blackout. It’s also suspended from awarding any new grants or issuing orders. As the Trump administration is getting its EPA on message, locally, the Governor’s Environmental Council recently issued a message of its own in its annual report. Hawaii’s paradigm of sustainability must shift and it boils down to three words: Ocean, Ohia, Ohana. Council Chair Josheph Shacat is in our studio to explain why.

Intro Music: Juicy Lucy by Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood

Outro Music: Lying Has To Stop by Soft Hair

The Story of Buffalo Soldiers Sent On a Mission of Empire: Jeannie Barroga

Credit Kumu Kahua

Black men sent to war against people of color -- it has happened more than once in American history… and in an all-but forgotten footnote to that history, it happened in the Philippines during that late nineteenth-century exercise in territorial acquisition known as the Spanish-American War.  That’s when the legendary Buffalo Soldiers of the US Cavalry were set against revolutionaries in the Philippines.  It’s the background to “Buffalo’ed,” a play at the Kumu Kahua Theatre. Jeannie Barroga is the story’s author.

Intro Music: I'm Good by Boy Willows

Outro Music: Buffalo Soldier (Instrumental) by United Guitar Players

Civil Beat Reality Check: Medical Marijuana

The saga of medical marijuana in Hawaii will continue into 2017.
Credit Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Very soon, the eight medical marijuana dispensaries will be able to plant their crops. And while it will still take almost half a year to make the final product available, tracking it from seed to sale can start next week. Civil Beat reporter Chad Blair has a reality check.    

Outro Music: Southern Moon by Derek Hoke

Outlook for Decriminalization: Carl Bergquist

Carl Bergquist, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Forum Hawaii.
Credit Carl Bergquist

As we heard earlier in the program, the Department of Health’s seed to sale tracking software is ready and next week, Hawaii’s eight dispensaries can finally plant their crops. While that’s good news for those who depend on medical marijuana, one activist group wants to make sure that other issues surrounding marijuana use aren’t forgotten. The Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii will again support decriminalization in bills that look a lot like the ones we’ve seen over the past two years that failed in the end. Carl Berquist is the Forum’s executive director.

Outro Music: Out Of My System by Youngr

Balancing Culture and Scientific Discovery: Dr. Sam ‘Ohu Gon

Sam Gon would like to see Hawaii become a leader in conservation and resource management in the modern era.
Credit Nature Conservancy

Dr. Samuel M. ‘Ohu Gon’s role as Senior Scientist and Cultural Advisor to the Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i puts him in a rare position, at the intersection of formal science and indigenous cultural knowledge: worlds of learning that are too often kept in separate silos.  He’s about to join the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage, where for a short spell he will serve as naturalist and cultural authority.

Intro Music: Slack Key Lullaby by Ledward Kaapana
Outro Music: Beautiful Kaua'i by Bryan Tolentino and Herb Ohta Jr.