Marijuana Legalization Bill Passes in Guam Senate, Heads to Governor’s Desk.
Hagatna, Guam 27 March 2019
Better get them plane tickets purchased, you know… before the prices for tickets to Guam skyrocket! All kidding aside, while Guam has a new marijuana recreational bill, I wouldn’t expect tourists to fly all the way to Guam just to smoke a joint. In the Asian region, there are strict laws governing the use of illicit drugs, so I wouldn’t think the Koreans, Chinese or Japanese would flock to this small island in the Western Pacific just to see what all the “Buzz” is about… no pun intended. It could take a decade or more for that cultural shift to occur. Then again, you never know. But until then, the only folks that will be affected are the locals, and a few travelers, while all DOD affiliated and military personnel will be on the sidelines.
Guam voters initially approved the legalization of medical marijuana back in 2014 and marijuana in the recreational sense has since been decriminalized. Prior to the legalization of recreational pot, the fine for possession for less than one ounce was $100. Even though it is still considered illegal by the Federal government, I have this feeling the demand here will be strong and yet another suspicion that this product will never be “out-of-stock.” All I want to know is when will the brownies show up?
Guam’s New Recreational Bill
Yesterday (3/27/2019), senators in Guam voted on Bill 32-35, titled as the Guam Cannabis Industry Act of 2019. The bill is expected to arrive on the governor’s desk late today and is expected to be signed into law. Governor Lou Leon Guerrero (D) has been an open proponent of marijuana legalization during her campaign for governor last year. The law will make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess and consume recreational cannabis. The bill will also call for Guam to legalize the production and retail distribution of cannabis, and of course, the framework for regulation and taxing sales. Cannabis sales would be subject to an excise tax of 15 percent, with that revenue to help fund law enforcement, substance abuse treatment and agriculture programs.
Lawmakers have been working on the bill for some time, and just recently, the bill (32-35) underwent a series of amendments before going to the senate for yesterday’s vote, which passed by a narrow margin of 8-7. Once the bill is signed into law by the governor, Guam will join the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, whichlegalized cannabis last year, as the latest U.S. territory to reform its marijuana laws.
The governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, another U.S. territory, signed a medical cannabis bill into law just last January. Marijuana legalization proposals have moved forward in several states this year, including passage by the New Mexico House of Representatives. But until Guam lawmakers’ action, no U.S. legislature had yet to send a bill to end prohibition to a governor’s desk in 2019. Today, roughly two-thirds of U.S. states have legalized medical marijuana, with 10 also allowing adult-use pot.
Read more about Guam’s bill in theHigh Timesmagazine.
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