I was scared, we were all scared


The single fear of every citizen has always been driven by the unknown of what our leaders are going to do about a certain issue and sometimes we have to wait literally years for an answer or solution. After thinking about the recent event and talking with Sen. Sixto, the reality is I was scared they were not going to consider full legalization. I was afraid like those who are sick without insurance and can’t buy marijuana and many others who thought recreational use would not be put on the table. It was that fear that pushed me to do or say something to make sure the senators recognized that the majority at the hearings and maybe even in our society preferred full legalization. It was not meant to be disrespectful. But now that Senator Palacios has put it on the record that they are being objective and “considering recreational use” and being given assurance by Sixto that all the concerns are being duly noted that will be reflected in their final outcome, there’s no reason to be scared or to worry as full legalization will stand on its merits—they will do the right thing.

I just hope the senators and readers can now understand and agree that it was the gag order by Sen. Sixto that recreational use could not be discussed that triggered the fear for recreational supporters. He clearly made it appear that recreational use would not be considered thus we ended up with me demanding that they recognize recreational use, which was amplified in the majority of the testimonies. But I now fully understand why the committee withheld commenting on the testimonies and the obvious shift for full legalization until the end. I hope they will forgive me and try to understand that when you are leading people, sometimes you need to give a little update as to how things are going—especially when you are taking them places they have never been before and people like me are watching everywhere we are going literally. Many people, especially among the silent majority who are ashamed to speak up, were questioning if they were considering recreational use or not. I just hope the senators, especially Madame Chair Santos, can understand the level of fear among citizens that loomed over the committee to consider recreational use!

I want to take this opportunity to reiterate my thanks and appreciation to Sixto as he is doing a great job with the marijuana issue and his medical mileage bill. His only mistake was the gag order and I’m sure he learned from this just like I did and he deserves an A-. Keep it up. I admire him for having the courage to open the doors to marijuana use as he is not scared and he remained professional by continuing to communicate with me on this issue or we could still be in conflict with one another instead of working together. I also want to extend my thanks and apology to all the committee members, especially to Madame Chair Santos as the committee is challenged with a hard job and we all, self-included, need to be a little bit more patient and wait for their final recommendations before we start complaining. I’m sorry and lesson learned. I just hope my critics got it too!

P.S.: There is no shame in my game to be humble and respectful, which is why I apologized. Keep that in mind, future leaders, because if you stay professional and focused on what’s best for all the people first before taking on a special interest group’s issue, you will always get it right. You should also read what the Federalists Papers say about special interest groups as they can be very powerful and even dangerous, which is how marijuana became illegal. The special interest of cotton growers combined with the wealth, power and political connections of newspaper baron Randolph Hearst who controlled most of the paper industry and didn’t want to see hemp paper in the market. Money and power ruled; it really had nothing to do with people getting high—a lesson we have learned and now we need to fix the entire problem they created with full legalization!

Ambrose M Bennett
Kagman, Saipan

Ambrose M Bennett Dayao
This post is published under the Contributing Author. He/she does not normally work for Saipan Tribune but contributes for a specific topic or series.

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