While we can only applaud Guam’s continuing march toward freedom, we can only wonder if the government’s motivation for the “Compassionate Cannabis Use Act” is, in fact, compassion.
Sure, the original bill passed with a unanimous vote, but the newly added provision allowing up to six plants to be cultivated in patients’ homes barely made it in with an 8-7 split—meaning at least seven of Guam’s senators are fine with medical weed, but only if they can control the profits.
This makes it easy to see why many activists are starting to call the island not by its native name of Guam, or Gu’ahan in the indigenous Chamorro language, but by the Spanish name that Magellan gave it in 1521: “la Isla de los Ladrones,” or “the Island of the Thieves”.
It also means the governor, Eddie Calvo, who has stood in opposition of all medical cannabis and especially homegrown pot, could easily veto the new rules, sending patients desperately waiting for relief right to the back of the bus—a bus that Calvo is trying to ensure can only be driven by the moneyed interests keeping him in office.
If he does decide to veto, the governor would be putting the people of the island in the same position they were in earlier this year when the rules for medicinal cannabis in Guam were scrapped. Back then, Senator Tina Barnes said that the rules were tossed out because of public concerns.
“They have stated that this set of rules and regulations will not be beneficial to patients for a number of reasons, including the high fees and strict layers of regulations,” Barnes stated.
Even if the governor does not decide to squash the project before it breaks soil, the current rules are not without their own problems. Private cultivation for personal use would still be strictly limited, with those living near schools totally out of luck, even if they comply with the other restrictions which deem that home grown reefer must be kept in locked rooms away from public view.
Commercial cultivation will be limited to areas with agricultural zoning, meaning no warehouse or commercial space growing. Dispensary licenses and cultivation licenses will be separate, meaning there would be no way to create a house brand or strain of weed for your own dispensary without getting both a cultivation and dispensary permit, and fees for both are set to be very high.
Guam’s populace overwhelmingly supported medical marijuana reform in a public vote over two years ago, but how long will it take the politicians to actually make the people’s will a reality? Seems like anyone’s guess.
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