Barnes introduces medicinal marijuana bill
Guam - After receiving overwhelming support for her Resolution 201, Senator Tina Muna Barnes today has introduced legislation that would allow for the use of medicinal marijuana on Guam. And it's named in honor of a local musician whose legacy continues to live on.
"Hafa Adai I'm Savage K and this is my daily cancer fighting regimen, I got some medical marijuana here, it helps build the appetite, and fights nausea as well as headaches and back pains I get from chemotherapy," stated Joaquin "KC" Concepcion, also known as Savage K to fans around the world, taken around the holidays last year. Concepcion battled stomach cancer for two years and passed away in July this year. And while his memory continues to live on through his spirit and music, his battle will not be forgotten as legislation was introduced in his honor by Senator Barnes.
"He had to leave Guam to get medical attention back there and was given that opportunity to use and work with medical marijuana, and he really wanted to live," she said.
Senator Barnes Says Bill 215, otherwise known as the Joaquin "KC" Concepcion Compassionate Cannabis Use Act of 2013 will not only allow for Savage K's legacy to live on, but help the many others on island who suffer from cancer. "We think if there is anyway that we could support medicinal use of marijuana to give it to those patients that are suffering and they'll be given the opportunity to utilize that then this a place where we could start," she said.
Bill 215 allows the beneficial use of medical cannabis in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments. The conditions are not just limited to cancer but also glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, HIV and AIDS, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The bill establishes an advisory board of seven members, six of whom will be in the medical expertise who would review and recommend to Public Health for approval of medical conditions that would benefit from medicinal marijuana. Public Health in consultation with the board would promulgate rules to implement the act.
KC's wife Emily meanwhile applauds Senator Barnes for her efforts saying had something like Bill 215 been implemented while her husband was undergoing treatment in Washington, he could have returned home. "I am very honored and if KC was here, he'd be honored as well," she said. "It was something that he really wanted to pursue when we was with us, he felt really strong about medicinal marijuana and the benefits of it."
KC had obtained a license in Washington, where it's legal to use medicinal marijuana as did Emily as his representative. She adds the process was very regulated and controlled and is something the island could benefit from. Emily meanwhile says her husband continues to inspire as she receives messages daily on his impact on their lives. "His memory is going to be a alive forever should it pass, should it not pass, the fact that his name is in there and he was so strong willed and his messages were so powerful," she she said.
"This doesn't only work for cancer patients by the way, it works for everybody, so don't be afraid to learn about something you don't know," Concepcion said in his video. "Marijuana is not evil it is actually really good for you, so please do your research."