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Guam: Women's Group Supports Federal Push To Reschedule Marijuana

Jacob Redmond

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A local group is hoping to gain support to include Guam in federal legislation that would allow medical marijuana to be used in states where it's legal at the local level.

On March 10, Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., announced bipartisan legislation that would allow the use of medical marijuana in states where it's legal without fear of federal prosecution, a release from Paul's office states.

The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act would reschedule marijuana from a Schedule I to Schedule II drug to recognize its medical use, and would amend federal law to allow states to set their own medical marijuana policies, the release states.

Women Grow Guam has begun efforts to work with Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo's office to ensure that Guam and other U.S territories are included in the legislation, according to a release from the group.

The federal bill would also permit VA doctors to prescribe veterans medical marijuana to treat serious injuries and chronic conditions, the release states.

The legislation would not legalize medical marijuana in all 50 states, rather it would respect the states that set their own medical marijuana programs and prevents federal law enforcement from prosecuting patients, doctors and caregivers in those states, the release states.

Currently, 23 states plus the District of Columbia have already legalized medical marijuana, the release states. Guam legalized medicinal marijuana with a majority vote during last year's General Election.

Women Grow Guam is a professional networking organization that supports female leaders in all segments of the cannabis industry.

"For far too long, the government has enforced unnecessary laws that have restricted the ability of the medical community to determine the medicinal value of marijuana and have prohibited Americans from receiving essential care that would alleviate their chronic pain and suffering. I am proud today to stand with Sens. Gillibrand and Booker to introduce a bill that will fundamentally change our nation's drug policies and have a positive impact on the lives of our Veterans and children," said Paul.

Federal law leaves doctors who prescribe patients who use medical marijuana and businesses that sell medical marijuana vulnerable to arrest. As a currently classified Schedule I drug, federal law also severely restricts medical marijuana research, as well as fair and safe financial services for medical marijuana-related businesses, the release states.

"We need policies that empower states to legalize medical marijuana if they so choose-recognizing that there are Americans who can realize real medical benefits if this treatment option is brought out of the shadows," Booker said. "Doctors and patients deserve federal laws that are fair and compassionate, and states should be able to set their own medical marijuana policies without federal interference."

The Guam Delegate's office has committed support to the bill, the group stated in the release.

"Current federal law turns its back on families in need of this medicine, which doctors want to prescribe to ease pain and suffering," said Gillibrand. "Senators Booker, Paul and I agree that it's time to modernize our laws and recognize the health benefits of medical marijuana. The CARERS Act will no longer put politicians between doctors and patients. It will let doctors do their job and give parents every available option to comfort their children."

Women Grow Guam stated that if the island were included in the legislation it would allow several things including:

- Allow Guam and all other U.S territories to legalize marijuana for medical use without fear of federal investigations or prosecutions;

- Permit interstate and territorial commerce in cannabidiol (CBD) oils;

- Reschedule marijuana to Schedule II;

- Allow local banks to provide checking accounts and other financial services to marijuana dispensaries;

- Allow local veterans Administration physicians to recommend medical marijuana to veterans; and

- Eliminate barriers to medical marijuana research that could be undertaken by a consortium of U.S. territorial universities and colleges.

Given the recent national and local headlines, with respect to U.S. Territorial relations and the lack of voting rights for the territories, this will make our efforts exceptionally timely and relevant, the group states.

Local polls show that roughly 60 percent of Guamanians supported legalizing marijuana for medical use this past November with the Joaquin K.C. Concepcion Compassionate Care Act, introduced by Sen.Tina Muna Barnes, the release states.


News Moderator: Jacob Redmond 420 MAGAZINE ®
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