Public Health needs senators' help with marijuana policy - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Public Health needs senators' help with marijuana policy

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Although Public Health wants your input about the draft rules and regulations for the implementation of medicinal marijuana in Guam, they are also asking the Guam Legislature for help in order to implement the program properly. "If people have the patience, they can go to the website, and if they want to read it online, they can read it online, and if they want to download they can also do that," said Public Health Director James Gillan.

He says it wasn't an easy task, but after months of work and research, the draft rules and regulations for the implementation of medicinal marijuana is available for the public to review. The 151-page document outlines several regulation from fees for licenses and certificates of distributors and cultivation sites to security measures. "Oeople who are candidates for using the medical marijuana, don't need as detailed screening as people who are going to distribute or grow 0406 there are FBI clearances, fingerprinting requirements," added Gillan.

But it's not just the promulgation of rules Gillan is working to see through, but figuring out who exactly will regulate them once it becomes law. Currently, it's the Division of Environmental Health overseeing the matter. "The three or four people who we had working on this have a lot of other things to do," th4 director added, "and they've been spending a lot of time on this. And again, they always get their work done and they're working more hours than they should."

He suggests having a separate bureau handle the regulation of facilities and the entire program. He adds the fact that Environmental Health also handles the prescription drug monitoring program and the controlled substances program could be a problem. He added, "So we would think it's a conflict to have that division or any part of that division actually do the regulation of this medical marijuana program, so we're asking Senator [Tina Muna] Barnes to help us fund the activity. We don't have enough people in the division to assign to a different bureau."

Senator Barnes, who was the author behind the Joaquin "KC" Concepcion Ii Compassionate Cannabis Use Act of 2013, says it's a very important concern. "Because it's a concern that's come up from the Department of Public Health, that issue will be addressed and looked into. We will not leave any stone unturned," she explained.

Senator Barnes says the first two public hearings on July 29 and 30 will be televised at the Guam Legislature in order to reach a larger audience, but encourages everyone to participate. "It is important that the community engage in sharing their input so we have a better understanding of how we want to move forward in truly implementing this program for the community," Senator Barnes added.

The third public hearing is set at the Division of Senior Citizens Conference Room in the Castle Mall in Mangilao on July 31. 

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