Momentum Builds in Puerto Rico for Major Marijuana Reforms

If this happens, Puerto Rico will become the first American territory to legalize medical marijuana and decriminalize marijuana possession. Yes, you read that right. If House Bill 1362 and Senate Bill 517 are approved, as is widely expected to happen, Puerto Rico will become the first U.S. overseas territory to join the other 20 states, including Washington, D.C., that have reformed their marijuana laws.

Last year, Representative Carlos Vargas, introduced House Bill 1362 to legalize medical marijuana and regulate its sale, possession and consumption. During the public hearings on House Bill 1362, most groups testified in favor of medical marijuana and argued that major reform is needed to tackle drug addiction and high incarceration rates.

Governor Alejandro García Padilla, once fervently opposed to marijuana reform, declared in a popular radio show : “There seems to be a consensus around the notion that marijuana can be used to successfully treat many illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis, glaucoma and cancer.” This is the first time that the Governor of Puerto Rico positively acknowledges the benefits of medical marijuana, signaling that he may sign the bill should it land on his desk.

Simultaneously, the House is also due to soon debate Senate Bill 517 — which passed with a vote of 14-12 in the Senate in December — that would decriminalize the possession of up to 14 grams of marijuana.

– Read the entire article at The Huffington Post.