Puerto Rico moves to allow medical marijuana

by | Sep 7, 2016 | Headlines, Puerto Rico | Comments

As years go by, we tend to see more changes on society’s attitudes relating to numerous issues. These attitudes tend to change our political landscape and bring forth new policies.

In recent years, medical marijuana has become a topic that has garnered positive reviews and attitudes by mainstream society. More and more states in the US have started implementing policies that allow the use of medical marijuana for health care patients. Marijuana is a term synonymous with the cannabis plant that helps induce mind altering effects. Along with its mental effects, it also contains physical effects. Medical marijuana is widely popular, but it is also still very controversial. Puerto Rico has started taking steps that allow the use of medicinal marijuana.

At the beginning of this year, Puerto Rico’s Department of Health adopted Regulation 155 which allows medical marijuana cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution. The government handles who is allowed to usher in these objectives. The original rule that helped mandate this regulation was passed by an executive order from the governor. This is because when the bill stalled in the Puerto Rico House of Representatives for two years, the Governor decided it was essential to implement the policy as soon as possible, through an executive action. Since this is an executive action, it is not officially a law. The next Governor could dismantle and abolish this regulation, eliminating medical marijuana.

This regulation allows medical marijuana; in the form of a pill or other non-smoking apparatus, to be administered to patients who have certain medical conditions. Only patients with Alzheimer’s Disease, Glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Migraines, Multiple Sclerosis, or Parkinson’s Disease can be given a prescription to medical marijuana. Also, patients who have other illness’ that are not responsive to traditional medicines can be prescribed medical marijuana, with consent from their licensed physician.

We must note, however, that it takes some time to set up the medical marijuana system before it can be legally obtained by patients. It can take an average of 9 to 18 months before medical marijuana can be made available to patients. It has been 8 months so far after the executive order took effect. The departments of agriculture and health are key to the transition of the medical marijuana industry. They are still in the process of filing reports on what has been accomplished so far and what else needs to be done, in order to fully implement this system into Puerto Rico’s mainstream society.

It may take some time, but medical marijuana will eventually become available to help suffering patients. Medical marijuana could also help pave the way toward other types of marijuana usage and policies. But for now, Puerto Rico is taking big strides in creating a new system of medical marijuana that could revolutionize their health care industry.

photo credit: Medical Cannabis Growing Operation in Oakland, California via photopin (license)