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.”