Marijuana Legalization Bill Passed by Northern Mariana Islands Legislature, Sent to Governor

The Northern Mariana Islands Legislature has passed legislation to legalize marijuana, sending it to Governor Ralph Torres for consideration.

The U.S. territory’s Senate passed the measure Tuesday, which was followed quickly by its passage in the House of Representatives the following day. Governor Torres now has the option of signing it into law, allowing it to become law without a signature, or vetoing it.

If the measure does become law, those 21 and older would be allowed to legally possess, use and cultivate marijuana for personal use. A licensed and regulated system of marijuana stores would be authorized to sell the plant.

According to an over 500-page report released by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Government and Law, “[T]he absence of marijuana regulations in the Commonwealth allows the existing marijuana black market operators to target persons under 21 years of age with total disregard to the safety, health and wellbeing of the youth in the Commonwealth”.

The Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory, has a population of approximately 55,000.

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