8 Nov 2010

Federal funds under threat from CNMI marijuana bill

7:45 am on 8 November 2010

The Public Health Secretary in the Northern Marianas says his Department may lose over 10 million US dollars in federal grants should the marijuana legalisation bill become law.

The House of Representatives has voted to pass a bill hoping to legalise, regulate, and tax marijuana.

If passed by the Senate and approved by the Governor, the drug could legally be used for medicinal and other purposes.

Our correspondent Mark Rabago says if the bill is passed, federal funds would be in jeopardy.

"We don't want to be labelled as the Northern Marijuana Islands! And that's been a recurring joke here. The Public Health Secretary has come out in the open and said that the Department of Public Health may lose over ten million dollars in Federal grants once this marijuana goes law."