Puerto Rico authorizes medical marijuana
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico’s Governor Alejandro García Padilla has authorized the use of marijuana for medicinal use, in a surprise move after Puerto Rico’s legislature failed to act on the issue.
García Padilla signed the decree late Sunday, instructing his health secretary to work out the details of its implementation.
The measure will clear the way for suppliers to begin making medicines derived from marijuana as early as August, Health Secretary Ana Rius Armendariz said.
The governor provided few details of the plan, but smoking marijuana will continue to be banned.
Rius Armendariz said regulations must now be drawn up governing how cannabis will be dispensed, who will have the right to produce it and what diagnoses will be required for treatment with marijuana-derived products.
The governor cited U.S. studies that have found that cannabis can relieve pain caused by multiple sclerosis, AIDs, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s, migraines and other diseases that sometimes resist traditional treatment.
The move follows a trend in the United States, where 24 of 50 states plus the District of Columbia allow the use of medical marijuana.
It drew criticism from some members of Puerto Rico’s legislature, where medicinal marijuana legislation had failed to win passage.
García Padilla warned last week he intended to rule by decree to circumvent the legislature, after it defeated his proposal for a 16 percent value-added tax.
You may be interested
5 questions for Costa Rican artist Karen ClacharElizabeth Lang - June 17, 2018
Costa Rican artist and publicist Karen Clachar has been merging communication and art throughout the past 20 years – an…
Serbia defeats Costa Rica 1-0 at the 2018 World CupKatherine Stanley - June 17, 2018
The early-morning Father's Day gift many Ticos had been hoping for did not materialize this morning: despite a wide-open first…
Costa Rican artist Elizabeth Argüello designed a Google doodle for SundayThe Tico Times - June 17, 2018
The Costa Rican artist and muralist Elizabeth Argüello designed the Google doodle (logo) for Sunday's World Cup match against Serbia, the…