We get a little bit closer to cannabis legalization with each passing day and now that the AG has spoken out about the problem with the bill the days could be numbered in weeks instead of years. Thanks AG for exposing the fact that the bill violates the process. The Senate can either change the bill to be a legislative act that will become law once approved by both Houses and the governor or they will have to start all over again to get the process right for it to be an initiative. Well, you don’t have to be a political scientist to see that he Senate has no choice but to proceed with the bill as a legislative act. Starting all over again could actually cause the bill to miss the 2018 election, delaying the issue for nearly four years. The many people who wanted legalization now, especially the sick people in the CNMI and those on the mainland who want to come home if marijuana is legalized, really needed a miracle and thanks to the AG, they got one.
The AG also hinted at a potential problem with “governance” if all the islands don’t approve the measure, adding to the need for it to be a legislative act. While local control over state control doesn’t violate the law, that doesn’t mean it is right because the bill allows for each local senatorial district to virtually become their own government when it comes to the legalization issue. There is nothing wrong with regulations but the bill has enforcement being pushed on DPS when most activities are not supposed to be crime for arrest and there are no controls, and there is no designated means to handle all the activities and monies in this “cash-only” industry. There is only a “policy commission” with a director and no state level government entity to administer the controls, making it a governing mess.
I’m sure everyone appreciates what has been done in drafting the bill once it is filed. The bill can be much better.
Ambrose M. Bennett