Sen. Sixto Igisomar (R-Saipan) is appealing to the public to focus their comments on the medicinal—and not recreational—use of marijuana at the public hearing for the proposed marijuana legalization bill.
The hearing will be held this Friday, 6pm, at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe, and will be the first of two hearings on Saipan for the controversial bill.
“I would like to appeal to the public to please keep their comments on the medicinal use of marijuana and not on its recreational use,” Igisomar said.
The senator said he wants to make it clear that Senate Bill 19-06 proposes to legalize the medical use of marijuana and not its recreational use.
The lawmaker said he has gotten a significant number of comments from CNMI residents wanting to find an alternative to expensive medical treatments for terminal diseases.
“This is a medicinal forum for medicinal marijuana. It is not for recreational and it is not for waiver or moratorium. Please keep [comments on] recreational and moratorium out of this public hearing,” the lawmaker stressed.
He said talks on recreational or on moratorium of marijuana might just “dilute” the real purpose of the hearing, which is reach out to those who need marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Igisomar also said he respectfully asks the public or individuals “not to campaign on the recreational use of the marijuana.”
S.B. 19-06 was introduced in January. Public hearings were then scheduled for Saipan, Rota, and Tinian.
At the first public hearing on Rota, one of the comments came from long-time CNMI resident Ambrose M. Bennett, who supports the recreational use f marijuana. He has also been a prolific letter writer to both newspapers’ Opinion section.
Bennett, in a written testimony, sent a lengthy discourse on marijuana and its uses, and how it can be regulated. One topic discussed was what he called “moratorium methodology.”