US Pacific territory of Guam to debate legislation decriminalizing marijuana
Published on Sep 23, 2013
A senator in Guam is calling for the US Pacific territory to legalise marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Tina Muña-Barnes is planning to introduce legislation to decriminalise cannabis.
She's told Pacific Beat there was "resounding support" at a recent public hearing in Guam for medicinal use of the drug.
"The legal system should focus more on serious crimes - people should not have to go to jail for simple possession of cannabis," she said.
"Here on Guam we're very family orientated and we talk greatly about the medicinal use for those suffering from a lot of ailments."
Senator Muña-Barnes says there's been a spike in reports of cancer on the island and decriminalising cannabis would allow patients to use the drug for medicinal purposes.
She says a "silent majority" in Guam support the move but are too scared to speak out.
"We have a lot of veterans call our office but they too did not want their names recognised for fear that their disability veteran benefits may be taken away from them," she said.
Guam Attorney General Leonardo Rapadas has said in Guam possession and use of an ounce or less of marijuana has essentially been decriminalised for 20 years.