- The Weed Blog https://www.theweedblog.com
Share.

Puerto Rico Legalizes Medical Marijuana

2

puerto rico marijuanaYesterday the Governor of Puerto Rico signed an executive order that legalized marijuana for medical purposes. Below are reactions from StopTheDrugWar.Org and the Drug Policy Alliance, respectively:

By Phillip Smith

Puerto Rican Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla Sunday signed an executive order legalizing medical marijuana. The move comes after years of discussion in the US island territory.

Under the order, the Puerto Rico Health Department is enabled to authorize the use of marijuana and its derivatives for health reasons. The order directs the secretary of health to produce a report laying out rules and regulations for the new system within 90 days.

“We’re taking a significant step in the area of health that is fundamental to our development and quality of life,” Gov. Garcia said in a statement. “I am sure that many patients will receive appropriate treatment that will offer them new hope.”

The Puerto Rican legislature debated medical marijuana in 2013, but a final vote on that bill was never taken, and the issue was stalled until Garcia Padilla acted. He has the support of many, if not all, legislators.

“It’s a step in the right direction. One of the benefits that patients say they receive the most is pain relief,” said Jaime Perello, president of the Puerto Rican House of Representatives in remarks reported by the Associated Press.

Not everyone was on board, though.

Garcia Padilla’s order leaves the island’s drug laws in “judicial limbo,” warned opposition legislator Jennifer Gonzalez.

But the Drug Policy Alliance liked what it was seeing.

“Gov. Garcia’s executive order is exactly what was needed,” said DPA executive director Ethan Nadelmann. “It was the right and legal thing to do given both the absence of a ballot initiative process in Puerto Rico and the inability of the legislature to pass needed legislation.”

“Gov. Garcia’s action is a compassionate move, and demonstrates a regard for scientific evidence,” says DPA Americas policy manager Hannah Hetzer. “This will alleviate the unnecessary suffering of thousands of patients in Puerto Rico, while also generating revenue and much-needed employment.”

Puerto Rico becomes the second US territory to legalize medical marijuana, after Guam. Some 23 states and the District of Columbia have also legalized it, and the federal government has signaled it is not going to interfere.

It also becomes the second Caribbean entity to legalize it, after Jamaica. In Latin America, it is also legal in Uruguay, which has legalized recreational as well, and medical marijuana crops are being grown in Chile with government approval.

Article From StoptheDrugWar.orgCreative Commons LicensingDonate

***

Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla of Puerto Rico signed an executive order yesterday legalizing medical marijuana in the U.S. territory. The order enables the Puerto Rican Health Department to authorize the use of marijuana and its derivatives for medical purposes. The Health Secretary now has three months to produce a report etching out the details of the new system. In 2013, a medical marijuana bill was introduced into the Puerto Rican legislature but remains stuck in the House of Representatives.

“Governor Garcia’s executive order is exactly what was needed,” said Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance.  “It was the right and legal thing to do given both the absence of a ballot initiative process in Puerto Rico and the inability of the legislature to pass needed legislation.”

Twenty-three U.S. states, the District of Colombia and Guam have approved medical marijuana laws, four jurisdictions have passed laws taxing and regulating marijuana for adult use, and the federal government has made clear that they will not interfere with properly administered state marijuana programs. Jamaica recently passed a far-reaching marijuana bill, which will set up a legal medical marijuana industry; the Chilean government has authorized a foundation to cultivate marijuana for medical purposes; and in 2013, Uruguay legalized both medical and non-medical marijuana.

“Governor Garcia’s action is a compassionate move, and demonstrates a regard for scientific evidence,” says Hannah Hetzer, Policy Manager of the Americas at the Drug Policy Alliance. “This will alleviate the unnecessary suffering of thousands of patients in Puerto Rico, while also generating revenue and much-needed employment.”

“We’re taking a significant step in the area of health that is fundamental to our development and quality of life,” said Governor Garcia. “I am sure that many patients will receive appropriate treatment that will offer them new hope.”

Source: Drug Policy Alliancemake a donation

Share.

About Author

  • AAMCO

    out of left field

  • The Other LA

    Before we all get too excited, I read on Al Jazeera that this does not pertain to smokeable mmj. It refers to non-smokeable medical cannabis, i.e., edibles, extracts, etc. Do correct me if I’m wrong.