The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services has publicly released the drafted rules for the U.S. territory to begin their own medical marijuana program.
Guam residents voted in favor of legalizing medical marijuana last November during the general election. The Guam Health Department is in charge of developing the rules and regulations for the medical program.
Over the past few months, Guam health officials have visited California and Arizona to learn from their medical marijuana systems. The officials have also communicated with community stakeholders to hear feedback and suggestions for the program.
Once the regulations are finalized, they will need final approval from the Legislature.
According to the proposed draft, potential patients must be suffering from at least one of the following conditions:
- Damage to nervous tissue of the spinal cord
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Terminally ill patients could qualify for medical marijuana as well, without dealing with one of the aforementioned illnesses. Minors, under the guidance of a caregiver, would also be allowed to partake in the medical marijuana program.
The draft proposes that a license to grow, possess or use marijuana would be required for all patients, caregivers, and cannabis businesses.
Today 56 percent of voters approved the use of medical marijuana in the US Territory of Guam. The votes have been collected for 56 of 58 precincts have been collected, indicating that support for the measure was wide spread.
Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance issued this statement, “Guam is quite conservative politically, and home to a significant U.S. military presence so this resounding victory is a confirmation of medical marijuana’s broad support across the political spectrum.”
Though the bill is significantly more restrictive than most medical marijuana programs in the United States, this victory is for the ailing patients of Guam in need of life-saving medicine. The medical marijuana program in Guam won’t allow for patients to grow their own medicine and must come with a doctor’s acknowledgment of “debilitating medical conditions.” The bill will no doubt help thousands of the current 160,000 residents on the island.
As election day unfolds this may be the first of several victories for the marijuana advocates. Stay tuned in for results from Alaska, Florida, Oregon, DC, and several other cities across the United States.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia