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By Manny Cruz for the Pacific Daily News
"Politicians very rarely will do anything simply because it's 'the right thing to do,'" Sherer said. "They represent communities, and if they aren't hearing from the community then nothing will happen. If you're looking at the future of medical cannabis on Guam and you're not part of it—it's not going to happen. Stay frustrated, and do something about it." - Steph Sherer
The University of Guam is hosting a forum Wednesday evening to discuss the latest developments in the island’s ongoing quest for full implementation of a medical marijuana program, four years after voters approved it.
The forum is being coordinated by graduate students in the School of Business and Public Administration and seeks to raise awareness about the next steps toward full implementation of the Joaquin (KC) Concepcion II Compassionate Cannabis Act of 2013, a release states.
The medical program has been dormant, first because of a lack of rules and regulations, and recently because of a lack of public interest in creating a required testing laboratory.
Concerns with home cultivation
The government has approved home cultivation by eligible patients and their caregivers until marijuana becomes available at dispensaries. As many as six flowering plants and 12 juvenile plants can be grown for each patient.
The home cultivation law, however, does not protect caregivers from arrest and prosecution if they participate in home cultivation, Grassroots Guam told lawmakers earlier this month.
Implementation of home cultivation also is hindered by a lack of funding for certain elements of the program, such as a tracking system and inspectors under the Department of Public Health and Social Services.
Implementation must come from the people
Steph Sherer, a visiting cannabis expert and executive director of Americans for Safe Access, said the impetus for implementation must come from the people, if the island is to see a full implementation of the medicinal marijuana program.
"Politicians very rarely will do anything simply because it's 'the right thing to do,'" Sherer said. "They represent communities, and if they aren't hearing from the community then nothing will happen. If you're looking at the future of medical cannabis on Guam and you're not part of it—it's not going to happen. Stay frustrated, and do something about it."
The UOG forum is open to the public and will be held in Rooms 131 and 129 of the Jesus and Eugenia Leon Guerrero Building from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.