Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo has sent a bill to the legislature that would legalize adult cannabis use in the U.S. territory, setting the age to consume the drug at 21, KUAM News reports.
In a letter to Speaker Benjamin J.F. Cruz, Calvo said the legislation is proposed “as a solution to the regulatory labyrinth” created by the voter-mandated medical marijuana program, adding that he does not “personally support recreational use of marijuana.”
“The program was well intended, seeking to provide for patients rather than leaving them in the dark or to the risks of the black market,” Calvo wrote. “While eliminating the black market is advantageous, the regulator nightmare that became the medicinal program would have replaced it with a gray market rife with corruption and cronyism.”
He explained that the new measure would not affect the current medical cannabis statutes and “the sin tax and age limit” applied under the recreational law would not apply to the medical market. The proposal includes a 15 percent tax that would be first used for the medical and recreational programs, including public health and education campaigns. The first $40 million raised annually would be directed to fund Guam Memorial Hospital operations.
The measure would allow adults 21 and older to grow up to six total cannabis plants providing that three or fewer are mature and it is not made for sale. Adults would be able to possess up to 1 ounce of flower and 8 grams of concentrates. Public consumption is now allowed and is punishable by a $100 fine. Those underage convicted of illegal possession would face a fine up to $500.
Sixty-eight percent of respondents in a KUAM News Twitter poll supported cannabis legalization on the island.