DPS intends to keep treating cannabis as illegal substance

The Department of Public Safety is looking at treating cannabis as an illegal drug until the local government comes forth with new rules and regulations that the department can enforce.

During an interview with Department of Public Safety Commissioner Robert Guerrero, he said his agency will view cannabis as an illegal drug and implement current drug policies until regulations are drafted.

“I do not have any plans of changing any of our drug policies for the department…We will continue to implement our current drug policies…. until such time that the regulations come out,” he said.

Guerrero said that standard drug policies would continue to be carried out by the department’s police officers.

“Other than the standard drug policies that we have…that’s what we will be going by and that’s what we will maintain as law enforcement officers and as the Department of Public Safety,” he said.

The standard policy with any sort of drug is confiscation of the illegal substance and arrest.

“Although marijuana is not as bad as ‘ice,’ we do confiscate it and we still make an arrest,” said Guerrero.

Guerrero is adamant about sticking to the standard drug procedure until he is notified differently.

“We will not deviate from that unless otherwise noted by law but for now, that is what we are sticking with,” he said.

According to a previous article on the Saipan Tribune, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres enacted House Bill 20-178, a pro-cannabis legislation that saw the CNMI make history as the first U.S. territory to legalize both medical and recreational use of marijuana. That also made the CNMI the first U.S. jurisdiction to do so through its legislature, rather than via ballot initiative.

The law legalizes and controls the use of cannabis in the Commonwealth, becoming the first U.S. jurisdiction to allow the commercial and medicinal use of marijuana. Those who are allowed are adults 21 years old or older.

Kimberly Bautista Bautista
Kimberly Bautista is the youngest in the stable of Saipan Tribune reporters. She has covered a wide range of beats, including the community, housing, crime, and education, for the Saipan Tribune.

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