Guam - It appears that voters will not be allowed to decide in this year's general election if medicinal marijuana should be legalized on Guam. The Guam Election Commission reconvened Thursday night to further discuss the matter where legal counsel Jeff Cook says after reviewing all three legal opinions that were submitted by Senator Tina Muna Barnes' office in the past week, his opinion hasn't changed. He adds while he respects the opposing legal opinions, he still believes that Bill 215 is inorganic adding the Organic Act doesn't grant the legislature the authority to pass their law making authority to the voters through a legislative submission or as Bill 215 calls it a legislative referendum.
A motion was made by commissioner Martha Ruth to adopt both of Cook's opinions and was passed by a majority vote. A second motion was made to have the GEC inform the speaker of the Guam Legislature of the GEC's actions and suggest that based on Cook's statements that the legislature seek a declaratory relief from the supreme court. The motion was passed unanimously.
Following the decision, the bill's author Senator Tina Muna Barnes told KUAM that "personally, as a policy maker, I'm very disappointed in the actions that were handed down to us. I personally believe that based on what was provided by us, that we followed the law of the land. I need to bring this back to my colleagues on the next journey we make moving forward. The GEC has the ministerial duty to follow the law and nothing has been challenged by what is provided in the Guam Code Annotated." Barnes says she will still continue working on the summary in favor of Bill 215 that she will be sending to the GEC.