The tiny US territory known as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CMNI) just took a big step toward ending marijuana prohibition.
Lawmakers in the CMNI House of Representatives have overwhelmingly passed a big piece of cannabis legislation. With a margin of 18–1 the new bill would create a legal framework for the sale and purchase of recreational cannabis in the Pacific islands, which lie just north of Guam.
“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.”
The impending law change in the CMNI is significant for a couple of reasons. First, the CMNI is set to become the first US jurisdiction to jump right in to the recreational market. They have no existing medical marijuana legislation, something that has been a precursor to recreational legalization in every state that has repealed prohibition. The CMNI will be introducing their recreational and medical markets at the same time, as well as establishing an industrial hemp industry. [Read more at Civilized]