OAG: We’re not going to prosecute unless it’s become dangerous


The Criminal Division of the Office of the Attorney General says it will not be pressing charges against individuals legally licensed to cultivate and sell cannabis unless it’s become a danger to the community.

According to Chief Prosecutor Chester Hinds of the OAG Criminal Division, charges will only be pressed if there is reason to believe that marijuana is being trafficked.

“I think it’s important that people understand that we’re not going to prosecute unless there’s a situation where we’re seeing the danger of trafficking, or [if individuals] are delivering it to children,” he said.

A scenario Hinds gave as an example to warrant prosecution is if an individual licensed to grow marijuana is caught growing an excessive amount.

“We would prosecute if there’s an excessive amount being grown. For instance, that person could fall in a category where we can say that maybe they’re trafficking, or unlawfully delivering. If a person is just selling a plant on Saipan Buy and Sell, we’re not going to arrest them or prosecute them. But if they’re over the line, especially if they’re growing at home, and they’re growing more than they should, we’re going to try and get them in compliance,” he said.

In addition, importation of marijuana would also be grounds for prosecution, he said.

So far, no huge charges related to marijuana have been filed but warning have been given out. Hinds added that he just wants people to understand that his office wants to help the marijuana industry flourish the right way and, as much as possible, get everyone in compliance before pressing any charges.

“We’ve been giving warnings, especially for people who are growing at their home. We haven’t been doing a lot of prosecuting and we probably won’t do a lot of prosecuting when it comes to people at their home as long as they’re in compliance. But if they choose not to be compliant, and they choose to grow excessive amounts, then there’s a chance that we do prosecute,” he said.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at
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