Pubdate: Mon, 29 Nov 2010
Source: Saipan Tribune (US MP)
Copyright: 2010 Saipan Tribune
Author: Mark Rabago
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


If and when Rep. Stanley Torres (Ind.-Saipan) introduces a medical 
marijuana bill in the House of Representatives, the Senate can be 
expected to once again vote it down, according to Senate President 
Paul Manglona.

More than a week after the upper chamber voted no to the 
controversial bill decriminalizing cannabis use for all purposes in 
the CNMI, Manglona continues to be adamant in his opposition to the 
schedule 1 drug-even if its use is limited for medicinal purposes only.

"Even for medical marijuana. Anything to do with marijuana I'm 
opposed to. It would mean easy access to our children and the youth," he said.

The Senate president said he recently talked to a person from the 
U.S. mainland who did some experiments on medical marijuana and he 
said his conversation with him confirmed what Manglona had feared all 
along-that medical marijuana is open to abuse.

"This local person told me that even those that were not issued 
permits for medical marijuana obtained the drug. It's just easy to 
obtain. The risks just far outweigh the benefits.even it's for 
medical use. No compromise on cannabis use whether it is for all 
purposes or for medicinal use," he said.

In an earlier report, Torres said he will introduce a medical 
marijuana bill if the Senate thumbs down his original cannabis for 
all purposes measure.

Gov. Benigno R. Fitial also came out in support of a medical 
marijuana measure if the bill gets the nod of the Senate. Sen. Luis 
Crisostimo (D-Saipan), who abstained in the Nov. 19 voting, also 
vowed to introduce a medical marijuana bill at the Senate.

Torres' House Bill 17-47 was killed on a 7-0 vote during a Senate 
session held at the Northern Marianas College campus on Rota on Nov. 19.

Under federal law, marijuana remains a Schedule I drug and is illegal 
to use and possess.

Medical marijuana use is legal in 16 states in the U.S., including 
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, 
Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, 
Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. Maryland allows for reduced 
penalties if marijuana use has medical basis.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom