Guam (Friday, Oct. 25) – Senator Tina Muna Barnes has introduced a bill to legalize medicinal marijuana. The “Joaquin Concepcion Compassionate Cannabis Use Act of 2013.”
It’s a bill that would legalize the use of medicinal marijuana for qualified patients with debilitating medical conditions. It would allow qualified patients or their primary caregiver to possess an adequate supply of cannabis to alleviate their symptoms.
The bill was named after local musician composer singer and rapper Joaquin Concepcion better known as K.C. or Savage K. Savage K was a local musician who was known as an outspoken promoter of local music and local culture. He battled terminal cancer for years until he passed away earlier this year. Senator Barnes says Concepcion and his family had to move to the mainland because medical marijuana was not available on Guam.
“They did not want to leave Guam they had to take the family off island so he could get better medical treatment because the expertise wasn’t on the island but more importantly he was a recipient of medicinal marijuana and the family shared that it eased the pain it gave him the opportunity to eat it gave him the opportunity to cope when the pain was overwhelming and overbearing and they wanted to come home they wanted to stay here they wanted to go as a family they wanted to be surrounded by family but they couldn’t,” said Senator Barnes.
The bill which is co-sponsored by senator Aline Yamashita would allow those with cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord, epilepsy, HIV and AIDS, anyone admitted into hospice care in accordance with rules promulgated under this act, post traumatic stress disorder, rheumatoid arthritis or similar chronic autoimmune inflammatory disorders, or any other medical condition medical treatment or disease as approved by the Department of Public Health and Social Services.
Any qualified patient or primary caregiver would be able to possess a 3 month supply of cannabis. as far as where this supply comes from the bill establishes a board comprised of various Dr.’s and psychiatrists who will set up rules and regulations for the production and distribution and use of medical marijuana.
Of course the bill also prohibits people from driving under the influence of marijuana, using marijuana on school grounds, school bus, or public bus, at the workplace, at a public park, recreation center, youth center or any other public place.
PNC took to the street to see what members of the public thought about this new bill. while all of the people we interviewed were for it there were a few opposed to it but they declined to go on camera.
“Well I have not been exposed to any situation where it was really dangerous as it was supposed to be I think compared to liquor liquor is much more harmful to the society,” said Joe Sablan.
“Well for medicine it’s been used here on the island before byt the elders for folk medicine it’s also been used for labor when women give birth to reduce the labor pain and also for the eyes i think it’s the glaucoma or something like that,” said Walter Salas.
“It has less side effects than most psychotropic medications because I’m a mental health patient and it’s very good for bi-polar disorder,” said Gina Arca.
The medical marijuana bill or bill 215 was just introduced this afternoon and has yet to be assigned a public hearing date but Senator Barnes encourages everyone to testify once a hearing date is scheduled.