Guam governor pushes to legalize recreational marijuana

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The governor of Guam wants to legalize recreational marijuana and plans to work with lawmakers to draft legislation that would be introduced early in 2017, a move that would make the western Pacific island the first U.S. territory with an adult-use program.

Voters on Guam passed medical marijuana in 2014. But the program has not been implemented, and Gov. Eddie Calvo believes it should be scrapped in favor of an adult-use program, according to the Pacific Daily News.

Calvo bases his belief on the difficulties Guam has encountered starting a medical cannabis program, saying, it is ” … much simpler and more efficient to regulate a recreational type of industry than a medical industry,” the newspaper reported.

Calvo said he met with a Colorado state official to discuss recreational legalization and believes legalized cannabis will help draw tourists from Asia to the island nation, the Pacific Daily News reported.

Of the eight states and the District of Columbia that have legal recreational marijuana, all but Alaska started with a medical cannabis industry.

Alaska voters passed medical marijuana in 1998, but the law allowed only home growing and possession – which nixed the possibility of MMJ business opportunities.

Calvo’s legalization proposal follows his veto of a medical marijuana bill that would have allowed qualifying patients and caregivers to home grow.