Guam governor approves bill to legalize marijuana

Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero (D), courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero (D), courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Guam hopes to be the next U.S. tourist destination known for its legal recreational cannabis.

Guam became the first U.S. jurisdiction on Thursday to legalize marijuana with the signature of Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero (D), reports the Pacific Daily News.

“Keeping it illegal in my mind rejects the motion that it exists and that the underground market will continue to prey on us. We have to be ahead of this and we have to control it,” Guerrero said during a press conference.

Under the new law, adults the age of 21 and over will be allowed to possess up to one ounce of cannabis. Individuals can grow up to six plants for personal use.

The bill, known as the Guam Cannabis Industry Act of 2019, establishes a Cannabis Control Board to regulate the testing, manufacturing, licensing, packaging and production of marijuana. The board has up to a year to develop rules and regulations, which are subject to the legislature’s approval.

Gov. Guerrero made it clear, however, that public use remains illegal, and that employers are still allowed to maintain a drug-free workplace.

“Nothing changes in the policies of our workplace as responsible businesses and agencies. We must continue to enforce zero-tolerance of substance abuse in the workplace,” the governor said.

The newly adopted recreational cannabis law joins the U.S. territory’s medical marijuana program approved by voters in 2014.

Watch Guerrero’s announcement in the video below.

Oscar Pascual is the editor of Smell the Truth, syndicated on GreenState and SFGATE. Smell The Truth is one of the internet’s most popular destinations for cannabis-related news and culture. This blog is not written or edited by Hearst. The authors are solely responsible for the content.