Guam – Attorney General Lenny Rapadas didn’t testify for or against the medical marijuana bill but he cited various concerning statistics from Washington and Colorado two states who have both completely legalized marijuana. However, the most powerful testimony came from the widow of Joaquin or K.C. Concepcion, the late local musician for whom the bill is named after.
Attorney General Lenny Rapadas neither testified for or against the measure but he present some legal statistics from two states who have completely legalized marijuana including it’s recreational use. Rapadas described the situations in Washington and Colorado as a law enforcement disaster. “From 2006 to 2011 while traffic fatalities in Colorado decreased based one marijuana use, 16 percent fatalities involving drivers testing postive for marijuana increased by 114 percent. Youth marijuana use in 2011 for the age group of 12 to 17 the national average for current marijuana use, current being more than 40 times a month was a 7.64 percent and it had been lower in previous years,” said Rapadas.
Rapadas said Colorado has more youth and young adults using marijuana than the national average and he says that emergency room admissions connected to mariajuanu use have also increased in Colorado. Also, Rapadas says Colorado has been caught attempting to export more marijuana to other states where it is illegal. “The seizures from Colorado went from 52 to 242… 2,220 pounds to almost 4,000 pounds which is a 77 percent increase,” said Rapadas adding, “Colorado and Washington are serving as experimental labs. These short time frames may not be enough to draw strong conclusions. The authors of the report that I am citing wrote that citizens and policy makers may want to delay any decisions on this important issue until there is sufficient and accurate data to make informed decisions,” said Rapadas.
Vice-Speaker B.J. Cruz pointed out that these statistics are from two states who have completely legalized marijuana including the recreational use of marijuana. Guam is only considering legalizing medicinal marijuana. A.G. Rapadas told lawmakers that he just wanted to point out some of the legal problems that are being encountered in states that at first legalized medical marijuana before legalizing it completely.
After the Attorney General spoke all eyes were on Emily Concepcion, the widow of the local musician for whom the bill is named after, Joaquin Concepcion also known as K.C. or Savage K. “I’m here to speak on what I’ve witnessed my husband go through and how medical marijuana did help him. It really did help him,” said Concepcion. K.C. had fourth stage stomach cancer that spread to his liver. He was given only a few months to live but he fought on for far longer than that. “With chemotherapy my husband suffered from nauseau, vomitting, loss of apetite, he couldn’t grip things, he had numbness and tingling, he had skin problems, everything a 32 year old shouldn’t experience he was,” said his widow. “I watched my husband lose 50 pounds,” she said adding, “He was skin and bones he could not eat, he could not crave anything because he had no appetite due to chemotherapy and that’s chemotherapy in itself. Having gastric cancer is another ballgame.”
Concepcion said his husband tried every painkiller possible but they all had side effects and they were further damaging his tumor ridden liver. “You wonder the doctors are able to prescribe you all these painkillers and this and that but with the painkillers there’s so many side effects that you can’t even keep track and that’s for one painkiller. You also have another pain killler. You also have your nasuea medicince, things you can and can’t do,” said K.C.’s widow. Concepcion says her husband only found relief in medical marijuana which is why they moved to Washington where it was legal. “And then he got medical marijuana which I really wanna stress was very very controlled. It was extremely controlled and I know the A.G. said there is no way of measuring the THC in the marijuana. Had he had spoken to one of the collectives in any of the states he would’ve been notified that there is a way because my husband had 16 percent THC in the marijuana he was smoking,” said Concepcion adding,
“K.C. would ingest it. There’s also something called metabols they put it in food form so if the smoke bothers you you can ingest it. If ingesting it bothers you through a pill form then you can have it as a snack form. Whatever way you take it, it’s medical and it’s gonna help you. Just as it did my husband.”
Concepcion said there were noticeable results and improvements to K.C.’s quality of life as a result of medicinal marijuana saying, “He did find comfort in medical marijuana. So with that he started gaining more weight. His appetite was back. He was doing music. He was playing basketball. He was doing everything his doctors told him he wasn’t going to be able to do.”
The only thing he wasn’t able to do was return to Guam before he passed away because on Guam there is no medical marijuana. Bill 215 or the Joaquin Concepcion Compassionate Cannabis Use Act will have another public hearing on Thursday December 12th at 5:30p.m.