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Gov. John P. deJongh on Wednesday signed a bill sponsored by Senator Terrence Nelson that places a medical marijuana referendum on the November 4th general election ballot.
The bill, one of much controversy, seeks to garner the mood of Virgin Islanders as it relates to having a medical marijuana industry in the territory, and is not the first marijuana bill sponsored by Sen. Terrence Nelson who, in tandem, is sponsoring two others: an industrial hemp bill that seeks to legalize the plant, which contains small amounts of THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, clearing the way for a hemp industry in the V.I., and a marijuana decriminalization bill that would lower penalties for crimes involving marijuana. Nelson has made it clear that legalizing marijuana in the Virgin Islands is his ultimate goal.
“I have approved the following measure: Bill No. 300444, allowing for a referendum election on the cultivation and use of marijuana for medicinal and research purposes,” the Governor wrote in a transmittal letter to Senate President Shawn-Michael Malone.
Elated, Senator Nelson said that he was “truly pleased that the governor will let democracy take place. This is the right thing to do. Thank you Governor deJongh.”
The industrial hemp bill that Senator Nelson has proposed was placed on hold by the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Agriculture and Planning, citing extra time for research and amendments.
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