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Info pamphlets on medicinal marijuana being mailed

Posted: Updated:
 by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - It remains to be seen whether a federal lawsuit will in fact prohibit the Guam Election Commission from putting the medicinal marijuana question on the general election ballot. But thousands of educational material on the measure is already being printed and set for mailout this week.

Despite a federal lawsuit filed in the District Court last week, GEC executive director Maria Pangelinan says with just five weeks remaining until the general election - operations must continue. "The Guam Election Commission continues to stay busy with all the work we have to do based on the Guam Election Commission timelines at this time, we are in production mode for both ballot sheet and the pamphlet, the Proposal 14a measure," she explained.

Close to 55,000 ballots for the general election are being printed inclusive of the legislative-submitted referendum on medicinal marijuana- despite the federal lawsuit. Pangelinan says 52,000 information pamphlets on the measure meanwhile are still proceeding forward as well in order to be comply with the law. "So if we stop now, not knowing what the District Court decision will is going to be, we may be more non compliant then if we don't start," he said.

The GEC's response to the lawsuit is due on October 7 - one day after in-office absentee voting starts and five days after pamphlets have to be mailed out to voters. So what exactly is in the pamphlet? "At the cover page, we actually have the ballot title, then the next page is the analysis that was approved by the commission, then followed by that is the argument for the measure given by Senator Tina Muna Barnes and Aline Yamashita and after that is the argument against by Senator Rodriguez and then after that is the actual measure itself," said Pangelinan.

Pangelinan says the commission is not obligated to put the entire law on the pamphlet, but felt its best voters know in detail what the measure proposes. "But the commission in its discussion decided we were going to put it all in because it is the only educational tool we have on the measure," she said.

Along with mailing out to the voters, the pamphlets will be available at the GEC, Guam Legislature, the court, the mayors office and with voter registrars. In the meantime, whatever decision the District Court makes, Pangelinan says the pamphlet will be beneficial to voters. "The intent of the pamphlet for any measure is so voters can get objective information as to what the measure is all about and that's how its set up," she said.

Meanwhile this Friday, the Guam Election Commission is set to mail out 52,000 information pamphlets on the medicinal marijuana measure.
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