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Oral Arguments before the Intermediate Court of Appeals

NO. 29063 – Wednesday, December 9, 2009 – 10 a.m.
STATE OF HAWAI`I, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. ROBERT M. MANZANO-HILL, Defendant-Appellee.

Attorney(s) for Plaintiff-Appellant
Jay T. Kimura, Prosecuting Attorney and Kevin S. Hashizaki, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

Attorney(s) for Defendant-Appellee
John M. Tonaki, Public Defender and Jon N. Ikenaga, Deputy Public Defender

COURT: Nakamura, CJ; Fujise and Leonard, JJ.

SPECIAL NOTE: The above argument will take place in the Supreme Court courtroom on the Second Floor of Ali`iolani Hale, 417 South King Street, Honolulu, Hawai`i.

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief description

Defendant-Appellee Robert M. Manzano-Hill (Defendant) was charged with promoting a detrimental drug in the third degree after a search by airport security uncovered marijuana in his luggage. Plaintiff-Appellant State of Hawa`i (State) appeals from the district court’s order granting Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result of the search of Defendant’s luggage and his subsequent arrest. In support of its suppression order, the district court found that Defendant possessed a valid medical marijuana card when he was arrested for possession of marijuana within his luggage, while attempting to transport the marijuana through the airport. The district court concluded that 1) there is ambiguity in the Medical Use of Marijuana Statute, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) Chapter 329, Part IX (Supp. 2008), regarding the definition of “medical use”; and 2) HRS § 329-122(c)(2), which imposes limitations on the “medical use” of marijuana, “should not apply when someone is transporting marijuana but only when someone is actually using it.”

On appeal, the State argues that the district court erred in concluding that 1) there is ambiguity in the definition of “medical use” in the Medical Use of Marijuana Statute; and 2) the limitations set forth in HRS § 329-122(c)(2) should only apply when someone is actually using marijuana. Defendant argues, among other things, that the case should be remanded for a redetermination of the motion to suppress and for entry of proper findings of fact and conclusions of law because the district court’s findings and conclusions do not establish a proper basis for the district court’s suppression order.