Guam’s Medical Marijuana Program Called Broken

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Senator Tina Muna-Barnes will have until June 12 to submit all the testimony gathered at the hearings to health oversight chair Senator Dennis Rodriguez.

Guam – Describing the current medical marijuana program as useless, medical cannabis advocate Andrea Pellacani is urging lawmakers to scrap the program as it stands, transfer oversight to the AG’s office and start again from scratch.

Andrea Pellicani, an outspoken advocate for medical cannabis has testified at all four public hearings about the many concerns residents and patients have with the program. After months of research however, she simply states–the program is broken beyond repair.

 

“We urge you to reject this program from the department of public health and social services: completely. Move oversight to the office of the attorney general under consumer affairs,” said Pellicani.

 

Pellicani offered an admittedly incomplete document that details how she and other stakeholders think a new program should look.

 

While holding up an example of the growing document, she says, “This exercise, my homework is a better starting point than trying to amend these rules submitted by DPHSS and the governors office. It’s not perfect, it has holes of which are identified and need to be run through legal counsel to be compatible and compliant with Guam code.”

 

She says the new document answers what she calls fundamental questions that are not answered in the current rules: what is debilitating and who gets to decide this? What are the barriers to this program, geographically, economically, demographically, and environmentally and what is the impact on the community and patients?

 

Pellicani’s document was created by with the input of stakeholders. This is not a new concept, especially among cannabis advocates in other states. For example, In California, the marijuana control legalization revenue act of 2016, or the MCLR bill, is an open source initiative put together and revised by stakeholders to legalize cannabis. It is currently in its seventh edition.

 

Adding to the need for serious change in the rules and regulations, Paul Baron testified. Baron is a former caregiver who used other medical cannabis programs. Baron says, he and his family member could not have participated in Guam’s program as it stands now.

 

“In the case of my family member, it would have been worthless, we could have never been able to participate in the program, if we didn’t have labeling and testing. That’s how we manage the dose, we understood what he had to take and experiment to figure it all out and if that’s not in place the whole edible option seems to go away,” said Baron.

 

Senator Tina Muna-Barnes will have until June 12 to submit all the testimony gathered at the hearings to health oversight chair Senator Dennis Rodriguez.