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Guam attorney seeks to stop marijuana referendum

September 26, 2014

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — A Guam attorney has asked the U.S. District Court in Guam to stop a referendum on medical marijuana scheduled to appear on the November ballot.

The question is scheduled to go before Guam’s voters as a legislative submission, which is a measure referred to voters by the territorial Legislature.

But Howard Trapp argued the Legislature can’t legally “pass the buck” to voters when it comes to passing legislation, The Pacific Daily News (http://goo.gl/k9Eomn) reported.

The election commission has until Oct. 7 to respond to Trapp’s filing, a judge ordered Friday.

The commission earlier raised the same concerns as Trapp about the legislative submission process. It initially refused to prepare the marijuana question for the ballot. But the island’s Supreme Court on Aug. 5 decided the process was valid.

The Supreme Court said the law “grants the people of Guam the right of initiative and referendum.” It said referendums may be initiated either by the people or the Legislature.

The justices said lawmakers didn’t shirk their responsibility by using legislative submission.

Trapp argued that while federal law allows for referendums on Guam, they are limited to referendums to remove the governor, the lieutenant governor or a senator from office.

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Information from: Pacific Daily News: http://www.guampdn.com

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