History of CBD and Cannabis In – Guam
In 2014, Guam became the first United States territory to legalize medical marijuana. Even though Guam has among the highest adult use rates of cannabis (at 18.4 percent), the modest bill was extremely contentious on the legislative floor.
In fact, the bill only allowed adults to possess up to one ounce of cannabis; however, it only passed with a vote of 8-to-7.
“We to take it and control it, monitor its use and effects, benefit from its medicinal properties, and allow our people to live in a safer environment” Gov. Lou Leon Gurrero claimed, when she was asked about her wholehearted support of the bill.
Gurrero’s statement is just one among the rising tide of officials who believe legalization can provide a safer route for users and non-users alike. Under the new law, adults can grow up to six plants for personal use, yet there are no provisions for commercial retail yet.
Cannabis, CBD, and Guam
Guam presents an interesting case, since the majority of the legislature is composed of strongly conservative members. However, culturally and socially, the territory is heavily steeped in marijuana use.
The territory was initially introduced to marijuana in the sixties and seventies during the Vietnam War, when American military members brought the compound over.
In 2002, the Guam vs. Guerrero court case became widely covered by the media for its contentious ruling. The ninth circuit court of appeals ruled that Benny Guerrero was not entitled to religious protections for cannabis use, despite his professed Rastafari faith. Although he had succeeded in the lower courts, higher courts ultimately struck it down.
By 2014, Guam legalized medical marijuana for debilitating, chronic conditions via referendum. However, the bill made no provisions for how and when dispensaries would be set up or regulated by governmental institutions. In effect, many sufferers never received treatment of marijuana for their conditions despite marijuana being technically legal.
It was the Marijuana Control Law that would end up having the largest impact. Proposed by Eddie Calvo, the law would completely legalize recreational cannabis in Guam. Although this law didn’t pass, it ended up inspiring the most recent marijuana legalization bill that was ultimately signed into law by the governor.
It’s unclear when Guam residents will be able to find participating dispensaries that carry marijuana. The legislature is still working in coordination with health officials and other regulatory bodies to establish commercial sales.