May 04, 2015
On Sunday, the governor of Puerto Rico signed an order that will allow the territory to establish some kind of medical marijuana program in the near future.
Associated Press reports:
Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said the island's health secretary has three months to issue a report detailing how the executive order will be implemented, the impact it will have and what future steps could be taken. The order went into immediate effect.
"We're taking a significant step in the area of health that is fundamental to our development and quality of life," Garcia said in a statement. "I am sure that many patients will receive appropriate treatment that will offer them new hope."
The order directs the health department to authorize the use of some or all controlled substances or derivatives of the cannabis plant for medical use.
Garcia said the government also will soon outline the specific authorized uses of marijuana and its derivatives for medical purposes.
Lawmakers in Puerto Rico have been attempting to pass medical marijuana legislation for at least two years, so this is certainly good news. However, it is up to health secretary to design an effective bill that ensures safe, reliable access to whole-plant marijuana products.