Puerto Rico Is Latest Area to Legalize Medical Marijuana

It is yet another victory for marijuana advocates in the campaign to legalize the plant for use. Sunday marks the signing of an executive order by Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla of Puerto Rico allowing patients in the U.S. territory to be permitted to use medical marijuana effective immediately.

Sam Tabar has read that the order follows a drawn-out dispute over the issue of legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes on the island, and Governor Padilla’s ratification of its use was surprising to many. The health department in Puerto Rico now has the authority to sanction the use of any part of the plant or derivative thereof for medical purposes. Governor Padilla has given the health secretary three months to compile a report that will show how the executive order will be carried out, what affect it may have and what can be done in the future to help the process.

The order has been signed, however, there is still much to be done regarding the matter. While authorities still need to detail which medical ailments will be classified for use and what derivatives of the plant will be permitted, Gove Padilla said, “We’re taking a significant step in the area of health that is fundamental to our development and quality of life.” Supporters of medical marijuana are wondering who will be permitted to use the plant, where will the product come from and will interested parties be allowed to apply to grow the plant in Puerto Rico for sale to patients. Jenniffer González is one legislator who opposes the governor’s action and says the law on marijuana is left in a “judicial limbo.”

Regulating Marijuana

President Obama is taking a stand for those who seem to have a problem with marijuana use. He wants to get these people into a program so that they get the help that they need to stop using the drug instead of being locked up for a short time and let go with the possibility of going back to jail if they get caught again. Obama also wants to show his support for medical marijuana. These are issues that should have been addressed a long time ago. Marijuana is a drug that, if used properly, has several benefits instead of the negative effects that many people believe. When the President of the United States backs regulating the drug, albeit in a medical form, then that should tell the rest of the country something positive. Christian Broda ( agrees that there needs to be more public information released about the drug instead of keeping people in the dark so that they form an opinion based on what they are told instead of the facts.

American Academy of Pediatrics Lend Their Influence into Reclassifying Marijuana

The fight for legalizing medical marijuana still has yet to receive the green light on a federal level, even though 23 states have adopted its medical uses. Just recently, the highly influential American Academy of Pediatrics has begun advocating for the reclassification of marijuana from a Schedule I drug, which includes substances such as heroin, ecstasy and acid, to a lesser Schedule II drug. This is being done with the hopes of the DEA approving more research efforts into the plants ability to improve the symptoms of many medical conditions. Bernardo Chua has found that, particularly in the AAP’s sites, is its use to combat epilepsy in children.

As it stands now, being listed as a Schedule I drug implies that it has no accepted medical use in the U.S. Without federal rescheduling of marijuana in a classification along with prescription medications like fentanyl, morphine and codeine, the FDA will not involve itself in any studies of therapeutic benefits.

Although the Obama administration has opposed any rescheduling of marijuana as of yet, recommendations to do so from the American College of Physicians and the Epilepsy Foundation, along with other medical organizations have been presented through recent years. With these medical groups already in the DEA’s ear to reclassify marijuana, it seems many in the medical community agree that marijuana does, in fact, serve a medical purpose, and they should be listening. As long as the public and those in the medical field continue to press for legalization, the federal government has no right to continue to prohibit the sale and use of this very useful plant.

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