Puerto Rico moves to legalize marijuana for medical uses
The governor of Puerto Rico has signed an executive order to allow marijuana to be permitted for medical uses. Alejandro Garcia Padilla endorsed the move, which will come into immediate effect, following a lengthy public debate on the US territory.
Governor Padilla mentioned that Puerto Rico’s health secretary will have three months to file a report about how the executive order will be implemented. The order will also mean that some or all controlled substances that derive from the cannabis plant will be permitted for medical use.
"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, cited by AP. "I am sure that many patients will receive appropriate treatment that will offer them new hope."
Medical marijuana can be used to treat a number of ailments, such as helping to ease the pain associated with multiple sclerosis, AIDS and cancer. Jamie Perello, the president of Puerto Rico’s Chamber of Representatives mentioned the move was “a step in the right direction,” and added “one of the benefits that patients say they receive the most, is pain relief.”
It is not clear at present which type of illnesses will receive authorization for medical marijuana. It is also unknown whether the drug will have to be imported, or whether residents will be allowed to grow it on the island.
"There are so many questions. We have to look at all those details," Amado Martinez, an activist who supports legalizing marijuana told AP.
The possession of any amount of cannabis in Puerto Rico has hitherto been illegal and punishable with up to five years in prison and a fine of $5,000. Advocates of the reform argue that the current policy has proved ineffective in the fight against the illegal drug trade on the island.
Iowans rally for statewide marijuana legalization
The daily pills 39-year-old Angel Francis-Kline has to take makes it hard for her to handle everyday life.
In a day, she can take between 12 to 16 pills to deal with her fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia and early on-set menopause. The combination of her pills, like Cymbalta and Hydrocodone make her uncontrollably shake and have seizures, causing dangerous situations, especially when she's driving.
"It's living everyday in pain," Francis-Kline. said. "What they're making me take is poison."
One evening, after taking a hit of hash oil concentrate, commonly known as a "dab," Francis-Kline said she safely drove back home, felt no pain for over six hours and was able to fall asleep around midnight rather than the usual 3 a.m.
That's why she, along with dozens of other marijuana advocates, rallied across downtown, and stopped at the Iowa Capitol to share stories on why the legalization of marijuana needs to come to Iowa.
"I think it's ridiculous you can't treat yourself in a natural way," Francis-Kline said.
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