Eight U.S. states and the District of Columbia have already legalized marijuana, and now a key U.S. territory could be moving to end cannabis prohibition.
“I want us to look at how states navigated into recreational marijuana,” Guam Governor Eddie Calvo, a Republican, said in a Facebook post on Monday. “Let’s figure it out and then tax the heck out of it and use those taxes to help fund our hospital, public safety and education.”
Guam voters approved a medical cannabis initiative in 2014, but it hasn’t yet been implemented as lawmakers have squabbled over the particulars of regulations.
Last week, Calvo vetoed legislation to allow patients on the island territory of roughly 160,000 people to grow medical marijuana at home, saying that the measure would “impose new and different duties upon our health and law enforcement agencies that will deplete their already strained resources.”
His remarks on legalization were first reported by Pacific Daily News. A spokeswoman separately told the Guam Daily Post that the governor was concerned about the implementation costs to allow home cultivation under the voter-approved medical cannabis law, and sees broader legalization as “both a cost-saving and revenue-generating measure.”
Guam isn’t the only U.S. territory where legalization could become a reality soon. Roughly 135 miles away by plane flight, lawmakers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) are pushing to end cannabis prohibition.
And, outgoing Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla called for legalization earlier this year and issued an executive order last month to end drug testing for marijuana to public sector employees.
Photo Courtesy of Allie Beckett.