The House and Senate of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), a U.S. territory in the Pacific Ocean near Guam, have approved legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana and allow commercial sale of the drug.

If Republican Gov. Ralph Deleon Guerrero Torres signs the bill, it would make CNMI the first U.S. territory to allow recreational marijuana use, as well as the first locality in the United States to create a commercial marijuana market via legislative action rather than via a voter-driven ballot initiative. This year, lawmakers in Vermont approved a marijuana legalization measure that included no provision for commercial sales.

The CNMI bill passed with overwhelming support in both chambers of government: The vote in the House was 18 to 1, with one abstention, while the Senate vote was 6 to 0 with two abstentions. A majority of lawmakers in both chambers are Republican.

– Read the entire article at Washington News.

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