Puerto Rican Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla just signed an executive order decriminalizing medical marijuana

Adding Puerto Rico to the list of 23 States, the District of Columbia, and Guam who have officially recognized this medical need. The order cites studies that support the medical usefulness of cannabis in treating multiple sclerosis, AIDS, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s, migraines, Parkinson’s, and other medical conditions. The order directs the Department of Health to formulate a plan within the next three months to allow patient access to cannabis.

Admitting the medical usefulness of cannabis may seem like common sense to many of us, but the Federal Controlled Substances Act, which is still applicable in all U.S. jurisdictions, specifically defines cannabis (and all other Schedule 1 drugs) as having no useful purpose. That designation impedes medical and scientific research and has lead to ludicrous public debates over whether or not cannabis is as dangerous as heroin, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Leaving that lunacy behind, Governor Garcia focused on the patients in making this decision. He concluded, “We are taking a significant step forward in the area of health that is crucial to our development and quality of life. I’m sure many patients will receive proper treatment that will give them new hope and higher expectations.” (Translated from Spanish)

Congratulations to the people of Puerto Rico in taking this important step.