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What does federal marijuana action mean for Guam?

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by Tyler Matanane, for KUAM News

A local group that advocates and promotes the responsible use of medicinal marijuana is now responding to the latest developments out of Washington, DC. The US attorney general reversing a memo that gives marijuana a pass in states where it's legal.  So, what does this mean for Guam?

It may still be in the planning stages on Guam, but the US Department of Justice started the New Year sending a strong message to marijuana businesses. Attorney General Jeff Session's office says now, there are no safe harbors. The new guidance gives federal prosecutors more discretion in how they enforce the federal law where it is legal. And according to the Department of Justice, any use of marijuana is against federal law, even if it's used medically.

Andrea Pellacani, Grassroots Guam Managing Partner, said "There has been gray area from the beginning because it still is federally illegal." Pellacani added, "This memo outlines if you are complying and following state laws and keeping it out the hands of children, not supporting organized crime or drug cartels, we are going to put you at the bottom of the list for the Department of Justice."

The group works locally to promote responsible use of medicinal marijuana. It was in 2014, the island voted to legalize medicinal marijuana. But the latest development out of DC has the group going to Guam's delegate for answers. "We feel this may push congress to act with legislative solutions to the murkiness of cannabis legalization. So we wanted to find out the position the congresswoman is going to be taking," she stated.

They want to know her position to ensure Guam has full protection on current bills in Congress that would provide safeguards to those in the medical cannabis program.  Bordallo's office has since received a letter from the local organization.

So whatever the outcome out of the nation's capital, they hope that medicinal marijuana businesses can begin to roll out before the end of this year.

"That is the number one thing I would like to see happen very soon so people can go to a lawyer and say what can I do and cannot do and participate in program legally?" she said.

Local legislation has also been introduced to address concerns over the rules and regulations.

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