GEC reviewing mandates before medicinal marijuana goes on ballot - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GEC reviewing mandates before medicinal marijuana goes on ballot

Posted: Updated:

by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - Should medicinal marijuana be allowed on Guam? It's a question that's been asked over the past few months and is expected to last well into this year's general election. But there's still many steps that need to be taken before voters can actually see the question on the ballot.

Guam Election Commission executive director Maria Pangelinan is anxiously waiting to review Bill 215 passed over the weekend by lawmakers. "The timeline is ticking now from the date of passage which was Saturday, they have within 45 days to submit arguments for and against," she said.

The measure would put the question out to voters this November on whether to legalize medicinal marijuana on Guam. Unlike an initiative or a referendum put forth by the voters in election's past, Pangelinan says a legislative submission, the first in the GEC's history, is much different. "This one is initiated by the Legislature and so what happens arguments for and against are written by senators, so the speaker appoints somebody on the pro-side and she also appoints somebody on the con-side, anybody who voted against it," she said.

All senators voted in favor of the bill except for Senator Dennis Rodriguez Jr. The Committee on Health chair said while he believes it's a matter of time before medical marijuana is approved on Guam, he felt now was not the time and that senators should be the one to decide on such a controversial and tough decision. He further notes that his vote was as a result of listening to doctors, the Employers Council, the attorney general and Public Health.

This legislative submission meanwhile won't require petitions nor will it require public village meetings, but it will require funding, something the GEC estimates to cost around an extra $35,000, an amount the GEC currently does not have. Senator Tina Muna Barnes's office tells KUAM that an appropriations bill should be forthcoming. Aside from funding, Pangelinan doesn't expect any major challenges.

"I think one of the things we have going for us, in the past, it was right before the general election, now we have additional time to getting it appropriately on the ballot," she said.

According to Senator Tina Muna Barnes office, Bill 215 actually does not need to be signed by the governor because it is a legislative submission. Following its passage however, Governor Eddie Calvo said he would not stand in the way of the people's right to decide on the issue. Meanwhile Pangelinan says if the arguments are not submitted within 45 days from the bill's adoption, the measure won't be on the ballot. 

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Find awesome deals on the Shop Guam app

    Find awesome deals on the Shop Guam app

    It's the biggest shopping event in the Western Pacific, and it's back just in time for your holiday shopping needs. Take advantage of the over 300 offers and discounts during the Guam Visitors Bureau 6th Annual Shop Guam e-Festival. The campaign kicked off earlier this month and runs through February 2018. Download the Shop Guam mobile app, available on both iOS and Android Devices, for more information.More >>
    It's the biggest shopping event in the Western Pacific, and it's back just in time for your holiday shopping needs. Take advantage of the over 300 offers and discounts during the Guam Visitors Bureau 6th Annual Shop Guam e-Festival. The campaign kicked off earlier this month and runs through February 2018. Download the Shop Guam mobile app, available on both iOS and Android Devices, for more information.More >>
  • GFD back up to 8 operable ambulances

    GFD back up to 8 operable ambulances

    They respond to thousands of calls a year. With that being said, mechanical failures will happen from time to time, but the Guam Fire Department is back up to 8 ambulances serving the island daily. According to Fire Chief Joey San Nicolas, currently there are 2 that are serving as back up and 3 that are still undergoing repairs. "There's a rare occurrence that multiple units go down at the same time mostly for the same reasons- which is really air con units in the patient compar...More >>
    They respond to thousands of calls a year. With that being said, mechanical failures will happen from time to time, but the Guam Fire Department is back up to 8 ambulances serving the island daily. According to Fire Chief Joey San Nicolas, currently there are 2 that are serving as back up and 3 that are still undergoing repairs. "There's a rare occurrence that multiple units go down at the same time mostly for the same reasons- which is really air con units in the patient compar...More >>
  • Government wants full payment from Ray Charles Tedtaotao Camacho

    Government wants full payment from Ray Charles Tedtaotao Camacho

    It's a $750 wedding ring, but its significance and meaning, priceless. While Ray Charles Tedtaotao Camacho is serving life behind bars, the government argues he's not being held fully accountable for his crimes. Five years ago, Camacho kidnapped and raped Monique Baza after she made a quick run to the bakery for bread. Though it's a minimal amount for the ring that was never recovered, defense has motioned to waive restitution.  The government, in its response this week, argued ...More >>
    It's a $750 wedding ring, but its significance and meaning, priceless. While Ray Charles Tedtaotao Camacho is serving life behind bars, the government argues he's not being held fully accountable for his crimes. Five years ago, Camacho kidnapped and raped Monique Baza after she made a quick run to the bakery for bread. Though it's a minimal amount for the ring that was never recovered, defense has motioned to waive restitution.  The government, in its response this week, argued ...More >>
Powered by Frankly