Guam’s Governor Eddie Calvo promised to legalize cannabis in the year of 2017. He kept his promise and weeks later, he introduced legislation to legalize recreational cannabis in Guam. Recreational cannabis could help boost tourism, the island’s main economic source.
The Marijuana Control Act would legalize cannabis for adults over the age of 21. The bill would impose a 15 percent sin tax at the point of sale. Patients that already hold a medical cannabis card will be exempt from the restrictions. Patients will be permitted to grow up to six plants at home. The revenue generated from recreational cannabis will be funneled into Guam’s medical cannabis program, per the Joaquin KC Concepcion II Compassionate Cannabis Use Act of 2013. Some of the revenue would go into treating drug abuse.
“I am introducing this bill, not because I personally support the recreational use of marijuana, but as a solution to the regulatory labyrinth that sprouted from the voter-mandated medical marijuana program,” Calvo said in a press release. Just a month ago, Calvo promised to legalize cannabis in Guam. Calvo’s plan involves eventually finding a way to simplify or replace Guam’s abstruse medical cannabis program.
The five-member Cannabis Control Board would oversee the island’s medical cannabis program. Four of the board’s members will be appointed by the Governor upon the advice and consent of the island’s legislature. The program is expected to cost the nation upwards of $8-10 million each year.
Calvo also promised that the first $40 million would go towards improving the Guam Memorial Hospital. “While eliminating the black market is advantageous, the regulatory nightmare that became the medicinal program would have replaced it with a gray market rife with corruption and cronyism,” Calvo added.
Anyone caught smoking in public would continue to be subject to a $100 fine. Employers would still be free to implement drug-free workplaces. If Guam legalizes recreational cannabis, it would join the growing number of states and the District of Columbia that have already done so.