Response filed by GEC over medicinal marijuana - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Response filed by GEC over medicinal marijuana

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 by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - The Guam Election Commission has filed its response brief to the Guam Legislature's declaratory judgment request with the Supreme Court relative to medicinal marijuana.

It was back in February when GEC legal counsel Jeff Cook deemed action by the Guam Legislature as inorganic in which the GEC decided to not place Bill 215 now Public Law 32-134 on this year's general election ballot. The measure lapsed into law in February and would allow voters to decide whether to legalize medicinal marijuana on Guam.

In its response, Cook writes that the Organic Act of Guam states that the legislative authority belongs to the legislature and "it is hornbook law that legislative authority is not to be delegated." Cook adds yet in Public Law 32-134, the Guam Legislature has specifically delegated its legislative authority to the voters.

Cook further states the Guam Legislature argues it has this authority pursuant to the procedure of legislative submission set forth in Guam code and that congress allowed the legislature to delegate its legislative authority when congress gave the people of Guam the power of initiative and referendum.  Cook however says the legislature's interpretation of the Organic Act is incorrect. He says the passage of Public Law 32-134 was not the result of the legislature adopting the medical marijuana measure but instead all they did was abandon its legislative responsibility without authority from congress to do so.  Cook states "pure and simple, the Guam Legislature has abdicated its lawful duty and passed the buck of making law to the voters."

It was earlier this month when Attorney Julian Aguon filed the opening brief on behalf of the Guam Legislature. The legislature was asking the court to confirm that a local executive official charged with a ministerial duty of enforcing a state statute exceeds its authority when it refuses to enforce said statute because they determine it to be unconstitutional.
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