Marijuana still illegal, says GPD - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Marijuana still illegal, says GPD

by Heather Hauswirth

Guam - "Our concerns remain the same - marijuana is illegal," said Guam Police Department Spokesman John Edwards.  "Depending on the amount that you have, it can be determined whether or not it's a misdemeanor or a felony. Basically from GPD's standpoint, we do not condone the use of drugs. We will enforce the law." 

Edwards says it's all spelled out clearly in the Guam Code Annotated - when referring to marijuana - they mean all parts of the plant -from the seeds to the resin to any mixture or preparation of the plant and Edwards says there is still a no tolerance policy at GPD regardless of whether or not lawmakers like Senator Rory Respicio intend to introduce something on the session floor.

"If and when the bill is introduced into legislation and the chief wants to make a statement on that at the time the bill is introduced, it will be made on the floor of the legislative body," he said.

The Guam Code Annotated says that anyone that has possession of a controlled substance except for marijuana is guilty of a felony of the third degree, but if you have more than one ounce of marijuana, the law finds you guilty of a petty misdemeanor. Having one ounce or less of marijuana one is guilty of a violation and punished by a fine of $100.

He continued, "Depending on the amount, the quantity of it does make the difference of whether or not it's a misdemeanor or a felony."

Senator Respicio says he supports decriminalizing marijuana for economic and medical reasons, but is now deciding whether or not he will pursue the initiative process and put forth a referendum or draft legislation calling for its implementation. The senator says he is considering drafting legislation similar to the Cannabis Act of California, which will be on the statewide November ballot or after the recently introduced legislation by Saipan congressman Stanley Mcginnis-Torres, called the Legalization of Marijuana Act 2010.

Yet until the lawmaker makes up his mind about what avenue to pursue, the law still remains set in stone on island. "And we will take it as the law reads and all we can tell the public is do not use drugs," Edwards said.

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