US Territories’ May 28 – June 3, 2018 week in tweets
Supporters of the legalization of marijuana promote benefits
Supporters of a bill to legalize marijuana use in the CNMI said that decriminalizing the weed would be beneficial for the Commonwealth. https://t.co/FU2adPrx0Y
— Saipan Tribune (@saipantribune01) May 31, 2018
A bill to legalize marijuana in the CNMI is on the floor of the Senate. Sensible CNMI, a pro-marijuana group, has outlined the benefits of legalizing marijuana, stating that the bill would open a new industry which can generate income for the islands. Legalization would also enable people to more easily afford marijuana for medical purposes.
Puerto Rico downsizes schools by 25%
238 schools in Puerto Rico will be closing as many students and families continue to leave the islands after Hurricane Maria and Irma. The Puerto Rican Department of Education reports that the schools are at 60% capacity. With reallocation of teachers, students, and funds, Secretary Keleher hopes to restore the Puerto Rican education system.
Harvard study estimates over 4,000 people died due to Hurricane Maria
Harvard study estimates thousands died in Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria TOMEN NOTA !! https://t.co/XIJ4FeeqTd
— FJ 🇵🇷 (@frankiejay30) May 29, 2018
A Harvard study found 4,645 deaths linked Hurricane Maria and its aftereffects. The official reports recorded 64 deaths, a number the Puerto Ricans were unconvinced by. The study finds that helath-care disruption for the elderly and loss of basic utility services, such as water, power, and gas, for the ill are two significant factors to the death toll.
American Samoa forms a public bank
The emergence of a public bank in American Samoa https://t.co/O1QR3iPgde
— Julie A. Hill (@ProfJulieHill) May 30, 2018
After the Bank of Hawaii announced it would leave American Samoa, the territory had to find a way to create a place in which loans and deposits could be made. The Territorial Bank of American Samoa was created. It follows the model of the public bank in North Dakota, Bank of North Dakota, which was established in 1919.
Students face trial after protesting tuition hikes
Dissent is patriotic. And these protesters are American, too. https://t.co/JTILsLiwpA
— ACLU (@ACLU) May 31, 2018
In 2017, few dozen student protesters stormed into the building where a board of the University of Puerto Rico was holding a meeting. Currently, seven students are facing charges of intimidation of public authority to the violation of right of assembly, restriction of liberty, and rioting. The students’ lawyers are challenging the criteria for targeting the students who were arrested, as only a select number of student leaders were charged out of a group of 60-70 protesters.
Undergoing repairs leave Puerto Rico vulnerable to upcoming hurricane season
Still mending Maria's mess, Puerto Rico braces for a new hurricane seasonhttps://t.co/61VSbSPRoy
— Neixa (@neixannd) June 2, 2018
Thousands of Puerto Ricans are waiting for power, while the next hurricane season looms closer. All the mayors in the territory could not state that they were fully prepared for another hurricane. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, however, said that they were more prepared for the next hurricane because of the number of workers on the ground, ready to restore power. Ricardo Rosselló, Puerto Rico’s governor, stated that he learned his lessons from Hurricane Maria and plans to react immediately if another storm hits.
1,000 Medical Evacuees Sent off Virgin Islands
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) June 1, 2018
Over 1,000 patients were sent to Puerto Rico or to the mainland from the Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma and Maria. The territory is still unable to support the patients who wish to return to their homes. The operating hospitals are only offering 40 to 60% of their services.