GUAM (Pacific News Center)—This early, the Guam Medical Association is questioning a proposed bill that would authorize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
The measure was introduced Friday by Sen. Tina Muna-Barnes. It is co-sponsored by Sen. Aline Yamashita.
A Friday email to GMA members from GMA executive director Pram Sullivan notes that “Senator Muna Barns and Senator Yamashita...introduced the medical marijuana bill without the input of the majority of the medical community. …One would think that a legislation to legalize a psycho-tropic substance requiring a healthcare provider’s prescription would come before you for input.”
In addition the email notes that the Guam Board of Medical Examiners “were not consulted” prior to the introduction of the legislation either.
The GMA email to members takes no position for or against the measure.
However it states that GMA president Dr. Tom Shieh has called for a GMA board meeting on this subject, and Dr. Shieh is seeking a GMA board resolution on the legislation. A survey will be also be issued to members to determine what their position is on the legislation.
Among the concerns raised in the email are:
* “How will this substance be controlled if it is allowed to be grown at home and allowed open access to minors?”
* “How will the employers do “drug” testing on individuals who may now be under the influence of marijuana?”
* Marijuana is still illegal under federal statutes and there is no protection from prosecution by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
* The type of marijuana is not specified, even though the active ingredient, THC, can vary by as much as 20 percent, depending upon the strain of cannabis used.
* There is no limitation on the usage or amount, except to note an “adequate supply” defined as three months.
* The conditions for which patients are qualified for usage is basically left up to the Department of Public Health.
* There is no adequate provision in the bill to protect the liability of the marijuana provider or the patients.
* The legislation has no provision for a temporary license for dispensing the marijuana
The email also refers to a meeting in San Diego last month of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
The AAFP website reports that at that meeting the delegates chose to refer a resolution opposing legislative approval of smoked medical marijuana to the AAFP board.
However, they did adopt a substitute resolution supporting research into the potential therapeutic benefits of marijuana and expressing concern about the safety of smoking marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Officially, the AAFP opposes the use of marijuana, except under medical supervision and control for specific medical indications.