Puerto Rico, the US protectorate, has just approved the legalization of medical marijuana. Governor of Puerto Rico, Alejandro Garcia Padilla signed an executive order that goes into immediate effect that would permit the use of marijuana as a medical prescription.
The Governor’s office essentially gave the green light to medical marijuana after reviewing research that supports the medical benefits of marijuana that could help relieve pain and symptoms from multiple sclerosis and glaucoma.
Puerto Rico’s Health department has yet to release the report which will outline how the executive order will work. This report could take up to 3 months to be released.
So far, it’s not clear which specific diseases and medical conditions the governor’s executive order for medical marijuana will cover. Also, it is not known if marijuana will be allowed to be grown on Puertorican soil.
The answers to these questions will be addressed and answered in the next few months. It’ll be interesting to find out wjat the extent of this legalization will be and how it will impact Puerto Rico in the future when it comes to recreational legalization.
This is a great step for Puerto Rico and the fight to legalize marijuana. Elsewhere in the Caribbean, Jamaica recently passed a law that (partially) legalized small amounts of marijuana and has largely paved the way for legal medical marijuana.
In Latin America, Uruguay legalized marijuana for recreational purposes just a couple of years ago. Additionally, Argentina allows possession of small amounts for personal use and in private locations. The same type of legislation is in place in other Latin American countries like Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico and Venezuela.
Thousands of lives have been lost and millions of people have been incarcerated because of the absurd war on drugs. It is good to finally find out that countries in the Western Hemisphere are adopting postures that give people more freedom to do whatever it is they want with their bodies.
Governments in Latin America have quickly realized that decriminalizing marijuana is an effective way to combat the war on drugs and local cartels. Unlike the US, Latin America has been able to cut down on policing and costs of imprisoning its population, and instead, has adopted smarter laws.
Puerto Rico now joins the other 23 US states which have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.