Guam – “Our View” is a weekly feature written by Jon Anderson representing the editorial opinion of the Pacific News Center.
OUR VIEW – “Do We Need a Referendum on Medical Marijuana?”
Do we really need to put a referendum on the ballot, to determine how we feel about medical marijuana on Guam?
Apparently so, since our legislature went to the trouble of getting a declarative judgement on putting such an act on the November ballot. The Guam Supreme Court said the question could be offered to the voters.
Confronted by that legal decision, the Guam Election Commission has unanimously approved the action to place the question of legalizing at least medical use of marijuana on the November 4th general election ballot.
So registered voters will have a chance to weigh in on the question. It will give voters the opportunity to consider the Joaquin “KC” conception compassionate Cannabis use act of 2013.
We spoke with Attorney and former Senator Howard Trapp, who said the act will be part of the November Fourth general election, and will be subject to the Santos Amendment, meaning blank ballots will be considered no votes.
The measure must be approved by 50 percent plus one of all votes cast in order to become law.
If Guam voters support the act in sufficient numbers, there still may be an issue of Federal law, with which the referendum may be in conflict. As currently interpreted, Guam may not pass any law which conflicts with a Federal statute.
In this respect, Guam, as a Federal possession may lack the authority to make a marijuana referendum part of local law if it conflicts with Federal law, even if Federal marijuana statutes are not presently being enforced.