Guam voters asked to make the call on medicinal marijuana
Tuesday, November 4th 2014, 3:12 PM ChST
Guam - Aside from the partisan and non-partisan races on the general election ballot today, voters were also asked for their position on medicinal marijuana and whether it should be legalized in Guam. What started off as a resolution, morphed into Bill 215 and eventually public law, the road to get the question of whether to legalize medicinal marijuana has been a long one.
Multiple public hearings and forums were held to allow the community and candidates voice their opinion on the issue, with Guam Medical Association member Dr. Erika Alford saying earlier this year, "The big part is we don't want patients to think that medical marijuana will be the cure-all or a good treatment for all their conditions." Marinalyn Hale added, "I've seen what this could potentially help me with. I could probably sleep better at night. I could probably get up in the morning and not be in pain 0833 but I don't know because I haven't been given a chance yet 0836
Guam attorney general Leonardo Rapadas added, "There's some inconsistencies here that frankly also need to be worked out - this is a more complex issue then just medical marijuana, there are other issues."
Public Health director James Gillan said, "Quite simply, the administrative and regulatory burden created by this bill is impossible to achieve without adequate funding."
Otherwise known as the "Joaquin (KC) Concepcion II Compassionate Cannabis Use Act of 2013" was named after Emily Concepcion's husband who had to stood by his side through his battle with stomach cancer. She recalled, "With chemotherapy, my husband suffered from nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, he couldn't grip things, he had numbness and tingling, he had skin problems, everything a 32-year-old shouldn't experience he was."
Her family relocated to Washington and with the use of medicinal marijuana KC was able to find peace before he passed away in July 2014. As for Joaquin Concepcion, Sr., while the bill is named in honor of his late son, it's really not about him but the people. "The sick, the suffering, the ones that have lost hope because of increasing presence and aggressiveness of medical challenges in our ever changing community," he said.
Bill 215 passed my majority vote and eventually lapsed in to law. Twice, however, the question wound up in court. And although most recently the District Court cleared the way for the question to be placed on the ballot, an appeal has been filed in the 9th Court of Appeals.