Guam's medical marijuana program has to improve

Guam’s medical marijuana program has to improve

Medical cannabis program. Guam obtains a grade of “C” in the state report on access to medical cannabis published by the ASA (Americans for Safe Access)

Guam is an unincorporated territory of the United States. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 extended the definition of “United States” for matters of nationality and to include Guam. Those born in Guam are US citizens since birth on the same terms as people born in other parts of the United States.

In the 2019 “State of the States” Report on the analysis of access to medical cannabis in the United States, the ASA qualifies with a C to the territory of Guam, using a scale that goes from A to F. That is , the rating is in third place out of seven. But we must bear in mind that each of the letters that make up the rating are subdivided into two possibilities: less and more. And the previous year the ASA had rated Guam with a “C-minus” grade. That is, it has improved a bit.

In Guam, both medical and recreational cannabis are legal. In March 2019, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero signed a bill that definitely legalized cannabis for recreational use in Guam. With the signing of this bill, the governor indicated that he was establishing a Medicinal Cannabis Regulation Commission to ensure that patients were well taken care of and protected.

For the 2018-2019 reporting period, the ASA took into account different factors that facilitated or hindered the implementation of the medical cannabis program in Guam.

The ASA concluded that Guam was slow to take the necessary measures after the enactment of the Joaquín Concepción Act in 2016 and 2017, which involved the signing of legislation that allowed the home cultivation of marijuana plants for patients, although the regulations only It is applied until dispensaries are operational.

According to ASA, Guam has done very well by allowing doctors to recommend medical cannabis for any qualified condition, and in fact, doctors have a great capacity to decide which patients need cannabis. But it is also true that the island needs to open dispensaries and face administrative delays in order to effectively treat patients.

Qualified conditions are: Cancer, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, HIV, Multiple sclerosis, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Rheumatoid arthritis, Spinal cord injury or other conditions that cause intractable spasticity. Any patient admitted to palliative care and any patient with a condition for which the qualified professional has determined that the use of medical cannabis can provide relief.

The ASA also concludes that although the medical marijuana program is very good in theory, in practice it is not the same since it does not translate into patient access. Guam also needs to improve the training of its staff in matters of cultivation, dispensaries and production of cannabis derivatives.

The ASA evaluates state medical cannabis programs both in isolation and in comparison to other state programs. Guam was evaluated based on patient rights and civil protections, access to medications, ease of access, consumer safety and provider requirements.

PATIENT POSSESSION LIMITS: 2.5 ounces (71 grams).

HOME CROP: Yes, up to six mature and 12 immature plants.

As for cannabis for recreational use, Guam legalized the use of marijuana in adults last March. The new law allows people over 21 to own up to an ounce of marijuana (28.3495 grams). Adults cannot grow more than six plants for personal use, but people still cannot legally buy or sell marijuana until a specialized board completes the regulations throughout the year and the Legislature approves it.

When the governor legalized cannabis he said that this substance had to be regulated, which is the most used on the island, since it is better to monitor its use and effects, benefit from its medicinal properties and allow the inhabitants of the island to live in an safer environment.

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