Respicio Seeks Confirmation on Federal Policy on Medical Marijuana

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Guam – Senator  Rory  J.  Respicio  (D‐Agana  Hts)  issued  a  letter  to  US  Attorney Alicia Limtiaco Wednesday, requesting confirmation of her office’s policy on the use of medical marijuana  as  regulated  by  local  governments. 

Respicio  writes  in  light  of  news  reports  that Federal Prosecutor Fred Black commented on the issue, saying that if local law allowed for it, his office would follow the federal policy of not prosecuting people who are allowed to use marijuana for medicinal purposes.  Mr. Black reportedly said that his office would rather focus on the more dangerous drugs, and that if Bill 423 became law, “it is unlikely you would see any prosecutions for medical marijuana on Guam.”

Read Respicio’s letter to Limtiaco

Senator  Respicio  is  the  author  of  Bill  423  which  would  “…authorize  and  regulate  the recommending  and  certifying  of  the  use  of  medicinal  cannabis  by  licensed  physicians  to patients with debilitating medical conditions.”

In August of this year, Senator Respicio wrote a similar letter to Director of the Veterans Affairs Pacific Islands Health Care System, Dr. James Hastings, requesting confirmation that his office would apply the policies and standards for Guam’s veterans using medical marijuana (should it be  permitted),  as  they  are  applied  to  stateside  veterans.  These  policies  and  standards  were outlined in a 2010 Directive of the Department of Veterans Affairs instructing local VA offices not to disqualify patients based on their use of medical marijuana, if it was legally permitted in the  jurisdiction  in  which  the  patient  resides.  Dr.  Hastings  responded,  that  “…should  Guam pass medical marijuana legislation the VA will comply.”

Respicio’s  letter  to  Attorney  Limtiaco  expresses  his  hopes  for  the  same  confirmation.  He concludes, “Your confirmation would be great news for veterans and civilians afflicted with debilitating conditions.  This would be good for Guam as well, as we continue to fight for equal treatment as loyal American citizens, who deserve no less than that which is afforded to our brothers and sisters in the 50 states.”