Guam - While the Guam Election Commission voted to not place the medicinal marijuana measure on this year's general election ballot, it's apparently not stopping the Guam Legislature from continuing on with the process. KUAM News has learned that Speaker Judi Won Pat's office had submitted position statements to the GEC both in favor and against the referendum that allows voters to decide whether medicinal marijuana should be legalized on Guam.
As required by legislative submissions, the speaker appointed Bill 215's co-authors Senators Tina Muna Barnes and Aline Yamashita to write arguments in favor of the proposal. Senator Dennis Rodriguez Jr. was appointed to write the argument against the measure as he was the only senator to vote against Bill 215.
In his opposition statement, Rodriguez says "you are being asked to legalize marijuana for medicinal use despite disagreement in the medical profession and concerns of the law enforcement community. "
Rodriguez goes on to say that Public Health will be required to use $100,000 of their budget to pay for the implementation of this measure adding any additional costs to other government agencies are not accounted for in the law.
As for Bill 215, he says the referendum contains significant flaws that should concern you:
1. Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug because it has strong addictive properties, a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the united states. U.s. department of justice has reaffirmed its policies on production, distribution and sale of marijuana as grounds for federal prosecution.
2. The proposal gives an advisory board, Public Health and other agencies little to no resources to effectively implement a strong regulatory and enforcement system necessary to deal with the unknown medical, legal, economic and social consequences that may result in its passage.
Meanwhile, the speaker's office was not able to provide KUAM News with the Barnes/Yamashita joint position statement.