Senator Tina Muna-Barnes Introduces Bill to Allow for the Medical Use of Marijuana

389

Guam – Senator Tina Muna-Barnes has introduced a bill that would allow for the medical use of marijuana.

Bill 215 provides for an exemption from criminal and civil penalties, and establishes a regulatory framework for the use of cannabis to alleviate the symptoms of certain illnesses.

The measure is co-sponsored by Senator Aline Yamashita. They are calling it the “Joaquin Concepcion Compassionate Cannabis Use Act of 2013.” 

READ Bill #215 HERE

According to the bill, the marijuana would  have to be “derived solely from an intrastate source,” meaning it must be grown here on Guam.

The measure would authorize “a qualified patient”  or their “primary caregiver”, to possess an “adequate supply” of cannabis to alleviate the symptoms of a “debilitating medical condition.”

“Adequate supply” is defined as a 3 month supply of cannabis.  And “debilitating medical condition”  includes diseases like cancer … glaucoma … multiple sclerosis … epilepsy HIV … arthritis … or Post Traumatic Stress disorder .. among other diseases.

Last month, Senator Muna-Barnes introduced Resolution  #201 in support of  the decriminalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes. The Resolution was aimed at gauging public support for, as well as opposition to a Bill allowing for the medical use of marijuana.

There was general support at the public hearing for the resolution.  And recently the Rotary Club hosted a debate between former Chief Superior Court Judge Peter Siguenza who spoke in favor of decriminalizing marijuana, while Dr. Thomas Shieh opposed it.

READ the release from Senator Muna-Barnes below:

“IN A BIPARTISAN EFFORT SENATOR TINA MUNA BARNES AND SENATOR ALINE YAMASHITA INTRODUCED BILL 215 THE JOAQUIN (KC) CONCEPCION II COMPASSIONATE CANNABIS USE ACT OF 2013 WHICH WILL ESTABLISH A REGULATORY FRAMEWORK FOR THE MEDICAL USE OF CANNABIS” 

Hagåtña-October 25, 2013- A bipartisan bill was introduced today at the legislature that will establish a regulatory frame work for the medical use of cannabis for those who suffer from the following serious illness and debilitating conditions; cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord, with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, epilepsy, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, those admitted into hospice care, post-traumatic stress disorder, rheumatoid arthritis or other chronic autoimmune inflammatory disorders, or any other condition approved by the Department of Public Health. Bill 215 provides for the exemption from criminal and civil penalties for the medical use of cannabis. 

While at the same time establishing criminal and civil penalties for its possession and use in the following: in a school bus or public vehicle, on school grounds or property, or at a public park, recreation center, youth center or other public place. Bill 215 also calls for the establishment of the an Advisory Board that will consist of seven (7) members, six (6) of which shall be practitioners representing the fields of neurology, pain management, medical oncology, psychiatry, infectious disease, and family medicine, and one (1) of which shall be a member of the public at large. 

The practitioners will be board-certified in their area of specialty and knowledgeable about the medical use of cannabis. The members will be chosen for appointment by the Director of Public Health from a list proposed by the Guam Board of Medical Examiners. The parents and wife of the late Joaquin (KC) Concepcion II arrived at the Legislative Building and symbolically hand delivered the bill to the Legislative Clerks Office. “This bill is the right thing to do not only on behalf of my son but also, on behalf of anyone on our island who is suffering from a serious illness like cancer, if it can help ease the pain in their body or eases the emotional pain that one endures when you know that your life is coming to an end” Said Kin Concepcion. 

“By introducing this measure want to allow this conversation to grow, widen and deepen. If this is an option for family members suffering from awful pain, it should be allowed”. Said Senator Aline Yamashita.

In introducing the bill Senator Tina Muna Barnes said “Our approach to Bill 215 has been detailed and through. The truth is that this is a conversation that is going on in many homes and in many families of those who are suffering from serious illnesses on our island. Like many other things our people are way out in front of their leaders on this issue. During the public comment process I received hundreds of emails, hundreds of calls from people who are suffering every day or who have love ones that are. Bill 215 seeks to address their concerns in a responsible way”. 

Today over 21 states have enacted regulatory frameworks that provides for the use medical cannabis by those with serious illnesses. Today we take a step, towards that end, in the right direction.

In addition I want to recognize the courage, vision and foresight of Senator Respicio if it were not for his early efforts we would not have the support of the community that we have today”.

READ Senator Muna-Barnes’ proposed medical marijuana Bill below:

DOS NA LIHESLATURAN GUÅHAN
2013 (FIRST) Regular Session

Bill No. ________
Introduced by:   T.R. Muña Barnes
A.A.Yamashita, Ph.D
_______________

AN ACT TO ADD A NEW ARTICLE 24 TO CHAPTER 12, TITLE 10 OF THE GUAM CODE ANNOTATED, RELATIVE TO ALLOWING THE MEDICAL USE OF CANNABIS, AMENDING PROVISIONS OF THE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT, PROVIDING PENALTIES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, ALSO KNOWN AS THE JOAQUIN CONCEPCION COMPASSIONATE CANNABIS USE ACT OF 2013.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF GUAM:
Section 1.  A New Article 24 is hereby added to Chapter 12 of Title 10 of the Guam Code Annotated to read as follows:

“ARTICLE 24.
THE JOAQUIN CONCEPCION COMPASSIONATE CANNABIS USE ACT OF 2013.

§122401. Title.
§122402. Purpose of Act.
§122403. Definitions.
§122404. Exemption from Criminal and Civil Penalties for Medical Use of Cannabis.
§122405. Prohibitions, Restrictions and Limitations on the Medical Use of Cannabis—Criminal Penalties.
§122406. Advisory Board Created—Duties.
§122407. Department Rules; Registry Identification Cards.
§122408.  Homegrown Cultivation Registrations.
§122401. Title.  This Act shall be known and shall be cited as the ‘The Joaquin Concepcion Compassionate Cannabis Use Act of 2013.’
§122402. Purpose of Act.  The purpose of this Act is to allow the beneficial use of medical cannabis in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments.
§122403. Definitions.  As used in this Act:  

(A) “Adequate supply” means an amount of cannabis, in any form approved by the Department, possessed by a qualified patient or collectively possessed by a qualified patient and the qualified patient’s primary caregiver that is determined by rule of the Department to be no more than reasonably necessary to ensure the uninterrupted availability of cannabis for a period of three (3) months and that is derived solely from an intrastate source.

(B) “Cannabis”  means all parts of the plant of the genus cannabis, whether growing or not, the seeds thereof, the resin extracted from any part of the plant, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or its resin, including marijuana concentrate.  “Cannabis” does not include the mature stalks of the plant, fiber produced from the stalks, oil, or cake made from the seeds of the plant, sterilized seed of the plant which is incapable of germination, or the weight of any other ingredient combined with marijuana to prepare topical or oral administrations, food, drink, or other products.

(C) “Debilitating medical condition” means:   
(1) cancer;  
(2) glaucoma;  
(3) multiple sclerosis;  
(4) damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord, with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity;  
(5) epilepsy;  
(6) positive status for human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome;  
(7) admitted into hospice care in accordance with rules promulgated under this Act;
(8) post-traumatic stress disorder;
(9) rheumatoid arthritis or similar chronic autoimmune inflammatory disorders; or
(10) any other medical condition, medical treatment or disease as approved by the Department;

(D) “Department” means the Department of Public Health and Social Services.

(E) “Homegrown cultivation registration” means a registration issued to qualified patients or their personal caregivers under the terms of Section 122408 of this Act.

(F) “Hospice care” means palliative care for the terminally and seriously ill provided in a hospital, nursing home, or private residence.

(G) “Licensed producer” means any person or association of persons within Guam that the Department determines to be qualified to produce, possess, distribute and dispense cannabis pursuant to this Act and that is licensed by the Department.

(H) “Medical use” means the acquisition, cultivation, possession, processing, (including development of related products such as food, tinctures, aerosols, oils, or ointments), transfer, transportation, sale, distribution, dispensing, or administration of cannabis, as well as the possession of cannabis paraphernalia, for the benefit of qualifying patients in the treatment of debilitating medical conditions, or the symptoms thereof.

(I) “Practitioner” means a person licensed in Guam to prescribe and administer drugs that are subject to the Guam Uniform Controlled Substances Act.

(J) “Primary caregiver” means a resident of Guam who is at least eighteen (18) years of age and who has been designated by the qualified patient as being necessary to assist the patient in the medical use of cannabis in accordance with the provisions of this Act, and who so agrees to assist the patient.  Primary caregivers are prohibited from consuming cannabis obtained for the personal, medical use of the qualified patient.

(K) “Qualified patient” means a resident of Guam who has been diagnosed by a practitioner as having a debilitating medical condition and has received written certification and a registry identification card issued pursuant to this Act.

(L) “Written certification” means a statement in a patient’s medical records or a statement signed by a patient’s practitioner that, in the practitioner’s professional opinion, the patient has a debilitating medical condition and the practitioner believes that the potential health benefits of the medical use of cannabis would likely outweigh the health risks for the patient.  A written certification is not valid for more than one (1) year from the date of issuance.

§122404. Exemption from Criminal and Civil Penalties for the Medical use of Cannabis.

(A) A qualified patient shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution or penalty in any manner for the possession of or the medical use of cannabis if the quantity of cannabis does not exceed an adequate supply.

(B) A qualified patient’s primary caregiver shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution or penalty in any manner for the possession of cannabis for medical use by the qualified patient if the quantity of cannabis does not exceed an adequate supply.

(C) Subsection A of this section shall not apply to a qualified patient under the age of eighteen years, unless:

(1) the qualified patient’s practitioner has explained the potential risks and benefits of the medical use of cannabis to the qualified patient and to a parent, guardian or person having legal custody of the qualified patient; and  
(2) a parent, guardian or person having legal custody consents in writing to:
(a) allow the qualified patient’s medical use of cannabis;
(b) serve as the qualified patient’s primary caregiver; and
(c) control the dosage and the frequency of the medical use of cannabis by the qualified patient.

(D) A qualified patient or a primary caregiver shall be granted the full legal protections provided in this section if the patient or caregiver is in possession of a registry identification card.

(E) A qualified patient who fails to register and receive a registry identification card from the Department but who nevertheless has received a written certification from their physician for the medical use of cannabis may be subject to arrest or prosecution but may raise an affirmative defense at trial.

(F) A practitioner shall not be subject to arrest or prosecution, penalized in any manner or denied any right or privilege for recommending the medical use of cannabis or providing written certification for the medical use of cannabis pursuant to this Act.

(G) A licensed producer shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution or penalty, in any manner, for the production, possession, distribution or dispensing of cannabis in compliance with this Act.

(H) Any property interest that is possessed, owned or used in connection with the medical use of cannabis, or acts incidental to such use, shall not be harmed, injured or destroyed while in the possession of state or local law enforcement officials.  Any such property interest shall not be forfeited under any local law providing for the forfeiture of property except as provided in the Special Assets Forfeiture Fund, 10 GCA §§ 79101 – 79105.  Cannabis, paraphernalia or other property seized from a qualified patient or primary caregiver in connection with the claimed medical use of cannabis shall be returned immediately upon the determination by a court or prosecutor that the qualified patient or primary caregiver is entitled to the protections of the provisions of this Act, as may be evidenced by a failure to actively investigate the case, a decision not to prosecute, the dismissal of charges or acquittal.

(I) A person shall not be subject to arrest or prosecution for a cannabis-related offense for simply being in the presence of the medical use of cannabis as permitted under the provisions of this Act.

(J) A person shall not be subject to arrest or prosecution for a cannabis-related offense for simply allowing one’s property to be used by qualified patients or their primary caregivers for the homegrown cultivation of cannabis to the extent permitted under Section 122408 of this Act.

§122405. Prohibitions, Restrictions and Limitations on the Medical Use of Cannabis—Criminal Penalties.

(A) Participation in the medical use of cannabis by a qualified patient or primary caregiver does not relieve the qualified patient or primary caregiver from:

(1) criminal prosecution or civil penalties for activities not permitted by this Act;  
(2) liability for damages or criminal prosecution arising out of the operation of a vehicle while under the influence of cannabis; or  
(3) criminal prosecution or civil penalty for possession or use of cannabis:
(a) in a school bus or public vehicle;
(b) on school grounds or property;
(c) in the workplace of the qualified patient’s or primary caregiver’s employment; or  
(d) at a public park, recreation center, youth center or other public place.

(B) A person who makes a fraudulent representation to a law enforcement officer about the person’s participation in a medical use of cannabis program to avoid arrest or prosecution for a cannabis-related offense is guilty of a petty misdemeanor.

(C) If a licensed producer sells, distributes, dispenses or transfers cannabis to a person not permitted to participate in the medical use of cannabis under this Act, or obtains or transports cannabis outside Guam in violation of federal law, the licensed producer shall be subject to arrest, prosecution and civil or criminal penalties in accordance with Guam law.

§122406. Advisory Board Created—Duties.  The Director of the Department shall establish an advisory board consisting of seven (7) members, six (6) of which shall be practitioners representing the fields of neurology, pain management, medical oncology, psychiatry, infectious disease, and family medicine, and one (1) of which shall be a member of the public at large.  The practitioners shall be board-certified in their area of specialty and knowledgeable about the medical use of cannabis. The members shall be chosen for appointment by the Director from a list proposed by the Guam Board of Medical Examiners. A quorum of the advisory board shall consist of three (3) members. The advisory board shall: review and recommend to the Department for approval additional debilitating medical conditions that would benefit from the medical use of cannabis;         accept and review petitions to add medical conditions, medical treatments or diseases to the list of debilitating medical conditions that qualify for the medical use of cannabis; convene at least twice per year to conduct public hearings and to evaluate petitions, which shall be maintained as confidential personal health information, to add medical conditions, medical treatments or diseases to the list of debilitating medical conditions that qualify for the medical use of cannabis; and recommend quantities of cannabis that are necessary to constitute an adequate supply for qualified patients and primary caregivers.

§122407. Department Rules; Registry Identification Cards.

(A) No later than nine (9) months after enactment of this Act, and after consultation with the advisory board, the Department shall promulgate rules in accordance with the Administrative Adjudication law, 5 GCA § 9100 et seq., to implement the purpose of this Act. The rules shall:
(1) govern the manner in which the Department will consider applications for registry identification cards and for the renewal of identification cards for qualified patients and primary caregivers;   
(2) define the amount of cannabis that is necessary to constitute an adequate supply, including amounts for topical treatments;  
(3) identify criteria and set forth procedures for including additional medical conditions, medical treatments or diseases to the list of debilitating medical conditions that qualify for the medical use of cannabis. Procedures shall include a petition process and shall allow for public comment and public hearings before the advisory board;  
(4) set forth additional medical conditions, medical treatments or diseases to the list of debilitating medical conditions that qualify for the medical use of cannabis as recommended by the advisory board;  
(5) identify requirements for the licensure of producers and cannabis production facilities and set forth procedures to obtain licenses;  
(6) develop a distribution system for medical cannabis that provides for:
(a) cannabis production facilities within Guam housed on secured grounds  and operated by licensed producers; and
(b) distribution of medical cannabis to qualified patients or their primary caregivers to take place at locations that are designated by the Department and that are not within one thousand (1,000) feet of any school, church or daycare center;
(7) determine additional duties and responsibilities of the advisory board;
(8) be revised and updated as necessary; and
(9) set application fees for registry identification cards so as to defray the administrative costs of implementing this Act.

(B) The Department shall issue registry identification cards to a patient and to the primary caregiver for that patient, if any, who submit the following, in accordance with the Department’s rules:
(1) a written certification;
(2) the name, address and date of birth of the patient;
(3) the name, address and telephone number of the patient’s practitioner; and
(4) the name, address and date of birth of the patient’s primary caregiver, if any.

(C) The Department shall verify the information contained in an application submitted pursuant to Subsection B of this section and shall approve or deny an application within thirty days of receipt.  The Department may deny an application only if the applicant did not provide the information required pursuant to Subsection B of this section or if the Department determines that the information provided is false. A person whose application has been denied shall not reapply for six (6) months from the date of the denial unless otherwise authorized by the Department.

(D) The Department shall issue a registry identification card within five (5) days of approving an application, and a card shall expire one year after the date of issuance. A registry identification card shall contain:
(1) the name, address and date of birth of the qualified patient and primary caregiver, if any;
(2) the date of issuance and expiration date of the registry identification card; and
(3) other information that the Department may require by rule.

(E) A person who possesses a registry identification card shall notify the Department of any change in the person’s name, address, qualified patient’s practitioner, qualified patient’s primary caregiver or change in status of the qualified patient’s debilitating medical condition within ten (10) days of the change.

(F) Possession of or application for a registry identification card shall not constitute probable cause or give rise to reasonable suspicion for a governmental agency to search the person or property of the person possessing or applying for the card.

(G) The Department shall maintain a confidential file containing the names and addresses of the persons who have either applied for or received a registry identification card. Individual names on the list shall be confidential and not subject to disclosure, except:
(1) to authorized employees or agents of the Department as necessary to perform the duties of the Department pursuant to the provisions of this Act;  
(2) to authorized employees of state or local law enforcement agencies, but only for the purpose of verifying that a person is lawfully in possession of a registry identification card; or  
(3) as provided in the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, codified at 42 U.S.C. § 1320d et seq.

§122408. Homegrown Cultivation Registrations.  If after nine (9) months after enactment of this Act, the Department has failed to promulgate rules as mandated under Section 122407(A) of this Act for the production and distribution of medical cannabis, the Department shall issue a homegrown cultivation registration to a qualifying patient allowing the patient or the patient’s personal caregiver to cultivate a limited number of plants, sufficient to maintain an adequate supply of cannabis, and shall require cultivation and storage only in an enclosed, locked facility.  Until the Department promulgates said rules, the written recommendation of a qualifying patient’s physician shall constitute a valid cultivation registration.”

Section 2.  The following new subsection (g) is added to Appendix A of Chapter 67 of Title 9 Guam Code Annotated, to read as follows:

“(g) The enumeration of marihuana, tetrahydrocannabinols or chemical derivatives of these as Schedule I controlled substances does not apply to the medical use of cannabis pursuant to the Joaquin Concepcion Compassionate Cannabis Use Act of 2013.”

Section 3. Temporary Provision.

(A) During the period between December 1, 2013, and thirty (30) days after the effective date of rules promulgated by the Department pursuant to Subsection 122407(A) of this Act, a qualified patient who would be eligible to engage in the medical use of cannabis in accordance with this Act but for the lack of effective rules concerning registry identification cards, licensed producers, cannabis production facilities, distribution system and adequate supply, may obtain a written certification from a practitioner and upon presentation of that certification to the Department, the Department shall issue a temporary certification for participation in the program. The Department shall maintain a list of all temporary certificates issued pursuant to this section.

(B) A person possessing a temporary certificate and the person’s primary caregiver are

not subject to arrest, prosecution, civil or criminal penalty or denial of any right or privilege for possessing cannabis if the amount of cannabis possessed collectively is not more than the amount that is specified on the temporary certificate issued by the Department.

(C) A practitioner shall not be subject to arrest or prosecution to be penalized in any manner or denied any right or privilege for recommending the medical use of cannabis or providing written certification for the medical use of cannabis pursuant to this Act on or after December 1, 2013.

Section 4.  Severability.  If any provision of this Act or its application to any person or circumstance is found to be invalid or contrary to law, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this Act which can be given effect without the invalid provisions or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

Section 5.  Effective date.  The Act shall take effect upon enactment into law.

establish a regulatory frame work for the medical use