Sixto Igisomar, a senator serving in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CMNI), a territory of the United States, has pre-filed a measure that would allow residents in CMNI to vote to end marijuana prohibition on November 8. If the referendum is successful, it would establish a law similar to those in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington — implementing a taxed and regulated market for recreational marijuana consumers 21 and older and a medical marijuana program for patients with doctors’ recommendations. It would also allow people to grow up to six mature marijuana plants and 25 immature plants.
The revenue from marijuana industry and sales taxes would go to building schools, drug education, treatment programs, and CMNI’s pension program. Should the measure pass, CMNI’s government will be expected to accept license applications by April 2017.
In 2010, the CMNI House of Representatives approved a proposal to end marijuana prohibition, but it failed to pass the Senate. A 2015 medical marijuana bill stalled in the legislature.