Lawmakers in CNMI approve Marijuana Legalization

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on August 10, 2018.

Legislators in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), a U.S. territory, Wednesday approved a bill to legalize marijuana.

The CNMI House of Representatives passed the legislation by a margin of 18-1, with one abstention.

The bill now heads to the House and if approved there, it would go to the desk of Gov. Ralph Torres (R).

With the Lawmakers’ approval of the bill, prohibition of the cannabis is all set to end.

Under the legislation, adults over 21 years of age would be allowed to grow, possess and use marijuana. A legal and regulated system of commercial production, processing and retail sales would be created. Resulting tax revenue would be used to fund implementation of the program and other government services.

“The people of the CNMI recognize that the prohibition of marijuana has been terribly misguided and harmful, and our leaders are in touch with the public's sentiment on this issue,” Lawrence Duponcheel of Sensible CNMI said in a statement.” Today, members of the CNMI House of Representatives showed their commitment to honoring the will of the people.”

CNMI doesn’t yet have a medical cannabis law even. However, if the bill is enacted, CNMI will become the first U.S. jurisdiction to go directly from outlawing marijuana across the board to allowing recreational use.

Lawmakers in Guam, another U.S. territory, have also been considering legalization.

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