Puerto Rican Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla Sunday signed an executive order legalising 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.
Keep up-to-date with drug policy developments by subscribing to the IDPC Monthly Alert.