Judge recommends dismissal of  suit over Guam's marijuana law

LINSANGAN: Sedfrey Linsangan testifies before the Guam Legislature at the Guam Congress Building in Hagåtña in November 2018. David Castro/The Guam Daily Post

Private citizen Sedfrey Linsangan doesn't have the standing to sue the governor over the legalization of recreational marijuana on Guam, Magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan said in a recommendation issued Friday.

Linsangan had asked the District Court of Guam to find the government of Guam and Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero in breach of the trust that has been placed upon them by the Organic Act of Guam, which established the local government.

The Guam Cannabis Act is in direct contravention of the federal Controlled Substances Act, Linsangan has alleged. Linsangan filed the lawsuit on his own and without a legal counsel.

The judge stated as the Supreme Court of the United States has held, the Supremacy Clause "does not grant individuals a private right to seek redress of a constitutional violation."

"In addition, the court questions whether it is appropriate for a court to determine whether or not the chief executive or members of the Legislature may be held accountable by the courts for allegedly breaching their trust to uphold the Constitution of the United States by the enactment of the Guam Cannabis Act," Manibusan stated, adding:  "These issues might be political issues which may be more appropriately dealt with in other forums other than the courtroom."

The judge did not decide on the legality of Guam's recreational marijuana law.

"Because Linsangan lacks standing to bring the legality of the Guam Cannabis Act issue before the court, it is not necessary for the court to rule on its legality or illegality," Manibusan said.

Manibusan's recommendation becomes final when adopted by Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood.