The full Senate for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands has given approval to a measure that would legalize marijuana.
The proposed law would allow those 21 and older to legally possess, use and cultivate personal amounts of marijuana. It would establish a regulated and taxes system of marijuana businesses including marijuana retail outlets, which would be authorized to sell marijuana and marijuana products.
The legislation now goes to the House of Representatives. Passage in the House will send the law to Governor Ralph Torres for consideration.
“[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”, and current laws “prevents the Commonwealth government from imposing licenses, fees and taxes relative to the production and use of marijuana”, states an over 500-page report released by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Government and Law.
The Northern Mariana Islands are a U.S. territory with a population of around 55,000.