Calvo vetoes medical marijuana bill, saying it “reeks of legislative arrogance”

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Former Guam governor Eddie Calvo will represent President Trump in a town hall meeting this weekend.

Guam – Calling it inorganic and reeking of legislative arrogance, Governor Calvo vetoed a bill that would have given him waiver authority on Guam’s medical cannabis law.

Introduced by Sen. Dennis Rodriguez Jr., bill 326 sought to give the governor of Guam waiver authority for certain requirements under the Joaquin KC Concepcion Compassionate Cannabis Act. The act became law through referendum in 2014 but the government has not been able to establish a set of rules and regulations that would allow for medical cannabis use on island.

The bill would have allowed the governor to waive certain requirements of the law with the goal of speeding up the approval of rules and regulations.

However, Governor Calvo vetoed bill 326, saying it violates the doctrine of separation of powers.

“This bill reeks of legislative arrogance. So many mistruths have been disseminated throughout our community painting our administration as the obstacle,” Calvo said in a statement. “When the executive branch is tasked with carrying out unfunded mandates, we are set up for failure.”

Last week, the governor signed Sen. Louise Muna’s home cultivation bill into law that allows for cultivation of medicinal cannabis from home.

However, cannabis advocates have criticized Muna’s legislation as it also has the potential to be utilized as a gateway for a commercial sale of medical marijuana.

Read the full list of bills signed and vetoed in a press release issued by the Governor’s Office below:

Hagåtña –  Governor Calvo vetoed bills 326-34 and 28-34; the first for its inorganicity and the latter because of several troubling provisions that fail to fix procurement issues – such as allowing the protestor to collect attorney fees from the Government of Guam.

On Bill 326-34, the Governor stated:
“I have consulted with the Attorney General, and she supports this veto because the bill is inorganic and violates the doctrine of separation of powers. … Bill No. 326-34 (COR) reeks of legislative arrogance and is highly inorganic. … So many mistruths have been disseminated throughout our community painting our Administration as the obstacle. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I stand, unwavering in my commitment to fulfilling the initiatives approved by the people. But when the Executive Branch is tasked with carrying out unfunded mandates, we are setup for failure.”

The Governor also noted that Bill 326 passed with 7 yes votes from Senators.  And yet, another bill that also passed by 7 votes and would have gotten tax refunds into the hands of our people faster, the Tax and Revenue Anticipation Note, was never sent to the Governor.  The Democratic majority, led by Sen. Regine Lee, refused to send the bill to the Governor so he could execute faster tax refunds for our people.

On Bill 28-34, the Governor stated:
“The procurement process is not perfect, and a need for reformation certainly exists. As stewards of the public’s money, however, the government has a duty to achieve the best value for the Territory while still supporting local businesses and encouraging healthy competition.” 

To read the Bill 326 veto letter, click here.
To read the Bill 28 veto letter, click here. 

The Governor yesterday also signed 10 bills into law.

Bill 127:  PL 34-126
• Introduced by Sens. Dennis Rodriguez, Jr., Joe San Agustin, Fernando Esteves, Tommy Morrison, Frank Aguon, Jr., Wil Castro, Telena Nelson, and Louise Muna. Relative to the establishment of a military limited volunteer medical license for physicians licensed with the Guam-based military credentialing office to enable them to volunteer in the civilian community.

Bill 128 – PL 34-127
• Introduced by Sens. Dennis Rodriguez, Jr., Joe San Agustin, Fernando Esteves, Tommy Morrison, Frank Aguon, Jr., Wil Castro, Telena Nelson, and Louise Muna. Relative to the establishment of a military limited volunteer dental license for dentists licensed with the Guam-based military credentialing office to enable them to volunteer in the civilian community.

Bill 129 – PL 34-128
• Introduced by Sens. Dennis Rodriguez, Jr., Joe San Agustin, Fernando Esteves, Tommy Morrison, Frank Aguon, Jr., Wil Castro, Telena Nelson, and Louise Muna. Relative to the establishment of a military limited volunteer medical license for allied-health practitioners licensed with the Guam-based military credentialing office to enable them to volunteer in the civilian community.

Bill 130 – PL 34-129
• Introduced by Sens. Dennis Rodriguez, Jr., Joe San Agustin, Fernando Esteves, Tommy Morrison, Frank Aguon, Jr., Wil Castro, Telena Nelson, and Louise Muna. Relative to the establishment of a military limited volunteer nursing license for nurses (RN, APRN, LPN) licensed with the Guam-based military credentialing office to enable them to volunteer in the civilian community.

Bill 219 – PL 34–130
• Introduced by Sens. Therese Terlaje and Dennis Rodriguez, Jr. Relative to authorizing Mayors to offer Veterans status data on verification of residency forms, include the solicitation of Veteran demographics in their annual census and conduct semi-annual community outreach efforts to verify the Veteran population in their jurisdictions for the purpose of updating the Guam Veteran Registry and connecting the Guam Veteran population to available services.

Bill 272-34
• Introduced by Sen. Telena Nelson. The proposed legislation seeks to require reporting of amended government positions and to defer hiring for amended positions.

Bill 279-34
• Introduced by Ada, the proposed legislation seeks to amend current statutes relative to the General Services Agency and the chief procurement officer.

Bill No. 292-34 (COR)
• Introduced by Senator Dennis Rodriguez, Jr., which would allow the use of video teleconferencing applications at government board and commission meetings.

Bill 297-34
• Introduced by Senator Tom Ada. The legislation authorizes the sale of approximately 316 square meters of the old Dela Corte Street property in Hagåtña

Bill 319-34:
• Introduced by Senator James Espaldon, relative to the annual deposit to GVB’s rainy day fund.