Saipan: Igisomar Bats Anew For Responsible Use Of Marijuana

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Sen. Sixto Igisomar (R-Saipan) said Senate Bill 19-106 is advocating for the responsible use of medicinal marijuana where it would be regulated like beer and tobacco, to prevent minors of accessing the herb.

The neophyte legislator, who was voted to finish the term of former senator Ray Yumul who ran for lieutenant governor in the last general elections, pre-filed SB 19-106 where he is pushing for the personal use and decriminalization of marijuana in the CNMI.

Igisomar, who is running against Yumul this November, made the statement after several groups expressed concern that if marijuana would be legalized, it would result in addiction and an increase in crime by people who could easily access it.

He told Saipan Tribune he understands the concerns of groups who are against the legalization of marijuana and their views are some of the challenges that they want to address. “We can have 1,000 people who would say yes but there are also people who would go against it.”

“There would be certain groups that would say no and their opinion is also important and their concerns are substantial. It is a significant part with the decision making to be done with the bill. What I’m saying is for the people, whether you’re for or against it, to review the bill.”

Igisomar said it would be better if people also research on the positive effects of medicinal marijuana so if it would come for the people to vote they could make their own decision and don’t just rely on someone else’s opinion.

“As much as possible don’t rely on what someone else would tell you. I suggest that they, the proponents and opponents, read the bill and do proper research so they can be informed. I don’t disagree with groups that are against it, there would be consequences that’s why I personally feel that the people should decide.”

“From my point of view, all I really wanted was medical marijuana. If they do their proper research, they can actually connect the dots, make a rational decision, and weigh the consequences. In that sense so we could have better and more responsible use.”

He said that regulating marijuana, if ever it becomes legal, would be the same as alcohol and tobacco where those who are 21 and above could access it. “It would be the same way we teach our kids to stay away from beer and tobacco. We would have the same treatment.”

For chronically ill patients

Igisomar said he is pushing for marijuana’s legalization for patients who need it badly, a significant part of the population who are chronically ill. “We have people who have prescriptions who are here but could not access it. You can’t just plant it or bring it to the CNMI.”

He added that the only way is for patients to buy it from the pharmacy but it cost a lot, around $500 to $800. Marinol, a prescription drug, is one of the psychoactive constituents of medical marijuana or cannabis.

He said allowing personal use of marijuana would give the opportunity for the people who are sincere in using the herb easy access to it. “We need to remove in people’s minds that one would just smoke it.

“I’m talking about boiling it like tea since marijuana is an herb. Boil the leaves, root or any part of the herb and drink it. It has an advantageous purpose that could really help people with chronic diseases or epilepsy.”

Marijuana allegedly treats glaucoma, epilepsy, chronic pain, muscle spasms, and reduce nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy, and improve the appetite of people with HIV/AIDS. The use of cannabis is legal in Washington, D.C., Guam, and more than 20 other U.S. states.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Igisomar Bats Anew For Responsible Use Of Marijuana
Author: Jon Perez
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