Tinian mayor San Nicolas supports marijuana bill

San Nicolas

San Nicolas

Tinian Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicolas became the first local chief executive to throw his support for Senate Bill 19-106 or the regulation of marijuana in the CNMI. SB 19-106 was pre-filed by Sen. Sixto K. Igisomar (R-Saipan), who is pushing for the personal use and decriminalization of the illegal substance in the CNMI.

San Nicolas said that he had already informed Senate President Francisco M. Borja (Ind-Tinian) that he fully supports the intent of SB 19-106 or the Commonwealth Marijuana Regulation Act, which is proposing to end marijuana prohibition and give CNMI residents access to use it legally.

“I’m giving my full endorsement of the intent of this bill. As a former attorney general, I have seen first hand the economic and social costs of prohibition whether it is from resources spent on arrests and prosecution or the consequences on employability as a result of a single marijuana arrest,” said San Nicolas.

He added that the CNMI’s resources should be diverted in fighting crystal meth or “ice,” which is a far more dangerous and lethal illegal substance. “I believe money spent on the continued prohibition of marijuana is better utilized to stop the sale of crystal meth and rehabilitation of our people addicted to this drug.”

San Nicolas said a lot of arguments have been made from both the pro and anti legalization groups even at the national level. Currently, 25 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical use with Guam being the first territory to do so.

“There are merits to both sides of the arguments which I will not rehash here but I am not convinced that the continued prohibition and decriminalization serves a beneficial purpose. The science supporting medical use are significant,” said San Nicolas.

“Four states have fully ended the prohibition of marijuana by allowing recreational use reaping substantial economic benefits. These are notable considerations given the precarious state of our economy and the types of physical ailments that members of our community are suffering from.”

He added that, if legalized, he expects there would be issues and problems in the implementation and enforcement just like in any new regulation.

“These challenges, however, are not insurmountable and should not be an impediment to allowing, at the very least, the people of the CNMI to decide on this very important issue,” San Nicolas said.

Igisomar pre-filed the bill as he wants to legalize and decriminalize personal use of marijuana, which would allow people—especially patients that are being treated with ailments like glaucoma and epilepsy—to carry less than ounce.

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Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez has been covering local and international sports events for more than 15 years. His sports writing career started when he joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, when he was in college.

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  • HeadHunter

    Biba SB19-106 aka: The Commonwealth Marijuana Regulation Act. Biba local citizens group Sensible CNMI. The time is now for a greener CNMI.

  • captain

    While I can see and understand Joey’s explanation, as it is now his office and the rest of the Municipally offices are over run with potheads and “ice”. Besides the Tinian DPS and Fire Dept, the Mayor’s office and the other agencies are the largest source of illegal drugs. (with DPS and FD being the #1 source)
    Many are ‘high’ during working hours which in many cases causes a danger to themselves and others working around them.

    This was long before Joey’s time also. Best Joey clean this up first. But as it sits now, due to these current “show only” legislature this MJ bill will not be on this ballot.
    and mow will have to wait another two years to see where the populace stand on this issue.

  • peter kang

    thank you mayor couldnt have said it better myself.

  • Don Farrell

    Well stated, Mayor, and congratulations on having the courage to speak up for what you believe in.

  • Chamoru First!

    The Mayor did an excellent job in the arrest of seven local traffickers and tightened the noose …one known Chinese distributor left town with tails between legs and resulting in saving a lot of lives…. children and all! His support of this law is worth thinking about the potential of economic success as experienced with the Oregon and Colorado!

  • pafao

    Good for you Mayor Joey San Nicolas, maybe you can encourage your idle employees to start planting marijuana at the government farm plots to begin generating needed revenues for Tinian. It will be a long while before the casinos are up and going because this government’s permitting process just sucks; so unbelievable to say the least. But, Mayor, how would you prevent your employees from smoking weed during working hours or would you freely allow them to be half dazed some of the time? It will be interesting to find out your deep thoughts on the subject of your full support as the MARIJUANA MAYOR in Don’s history book.

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