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A timeline of events leading up to Gov. Eddie Calvo’s vetoing of Bill 344-33.
PDN News Team

Guam’s medical marijuana continues to be plagued by avoidable delays, and elected officials must work together to move it forward.

The Joaquin KC Concepcion II Compassionate Cannabis Use Act was passed by voters in November 2014. It took lawmakers more than two years to pass legislation in December 2016 to approve the implementation of the program.

But Public Health still isn’t ready to issue accept applications or issue permits because of the December law, according to James Gillan, director of the Department of Public Health and Social Services Director James Gillan.

“The problem with this law is that it really is probably the most illogical piece of legislation I’ve ever read,” Gillan said. “One part of the law says we have to start accepting applications and another part says we need to have regulations in place. You can’t have both at the same time.”

The Medical Cannabis Regulation Commission, which is to set standards, has yet to meet. Gillan said several members haven’t responded to meeting, including Sen. Dennis Rodriguez Jr., the chairman to the Legislature’s Committee on Health.

Why do lawmakers continue to drag their feet to make medical marijuana a reality for Guam? Where’s the sense of urgency to help the patients who will see real benefits from cannabis?

The people of Guam approved a medical marijuana law because they know of the suffering and pain many patients have to endure, which could be eased with medicinal cannabis. Residents have seen this kind of program work in many states in the U.S. mainland, and want patients living in Guam to be able to benefit in the same way.

Senators, and the administration, need to step up and work together to get the medical marijuana program up and running as soon as possible.

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