Senator Rory J. Respicio (D‐Agana Hts) issued a letter to US Attorney Alicia Limtiaco Wednesday, requesting confirmation of her office’s policy on the use of medical marijuana as regulated by local governments.
Respicio writes in light of news reports that Federal Prosecutor Fred Black commented on the issue, saying that if local law allowed for it, his office would follow the federal policy of not prosecuting people who are allowed to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. Mr. Black reportedly said that his office would rather focus on the more dangerous drugs, and that if Bill 423 became law, “it is unlikely you would see any prosecutions for medical marijuana on Guam.”
Senator Respicio is the author of Bill 423 which would “…authorize and regulate the recommending and certifying of the use of medicinal cannabis by licensed physicians to patients with debilitating medical conditions.”
In August of this year, Senator Respicio wrote a similar letter to Director of the Veterans Affairs Pacific Islands Health Care System, Dr. James Hastings, requesting confirmation that his office would apply the policies and standards for Guam’s veterans using medical marijuana (should it be permitted), as they are applied to stateside veterans. These policies and standards were outlined in a 2010 Directive of the Department of Veterans Affairs instructing local VA offices not to disqualify patients based on their use of medical marijuana, if it was legally permitted in the jurisdiction in which the patient resides. Dr. Hastings responded, that “…should Guam pass medical marijuana legislation the VA will comply.”
Respicio’s letter to Attorney Limtiaco expresses his hopes for the same confirmation. He concludes, “Your confirmation would be great news for veterans and civilians afflicted with debilitating conditions. This would be good for Guam as well, as we continue to fight for equal treatment as loyal American citizens, who deserve no less than that which is afforded to our brothers and sisters in the 50 states.”