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Regional News

Palau’s Remengesau backs medical pot, bucks recreational use

KOROR (Pacific Note/Tia Belau/Pacnews) — Palau President Tommy Remengesau is most likely to support a proposed legislation legalizing medical marijuana but only if there will proper safeguards in place to ensure that it serves its intended purpose.

But he said will not back a bill legalizing recreational use of marijuana. President Remengesau made this disclosure at the leadership meeting between the national and Koror state governments on Tuesday last week.

A medical marijuana bill has been introduced in the Olbiil Era Kelulau, the bicameral national Congress, only for medicinal use purposes. Tommy Remengesau

“The use of marijuana for medical purposes requires legislation by the Olbiil Era Kelulau,” Remengesau said.

He said that there should information and data gathering to help the House and the Senate in their deliberations.

“I believe that none of us here is against medicinal marijuana or want to deny its useful health benefits,” Remengesau said.

The president was responding to one of the traditional leader’s Ibedul Yutaka Gibbons comments during the meeting regarding the possibility of marijuana becoming an export commodity and a source of income for Palau.

Remengesau, however, made it clear that he’s against legalizing recreational use of marijuana. He stressed that the idea of freely going to the store to buy a joint and a beer is not something he will agree with.

In September, the CNMI formally legalized the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana. The new law would allow adults who are over-21 years old to possess small amounts of marijuana (one ounce), marijuana infused products (16 ounces in solid form and 72 ounces in liquid form), and marijuana extracts (five grams). Guam in 2014 approved medicinal marijuana in a public referendum but only recently passed rules and regulations in February of this year