Puerto Rico Legalizes Medical Marijuana

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Puerto Rico’s governor unexpectedly on Sunday signed an executive order allowing medical marijuana use – but where it will be grown, how it will be distributed and which ailments can legally be treated are still up in the air.

The executive order gives the secretary of health the authority to “intervene extensively” with the island’s controlled substances act. While he didn’t say which ailments will qualify for MMJ use, the governor mentioned multiple sclerosis, AIDS, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s and migraines as conditions that studies have shown can be treated with cannabis.

The U.S. territory’s health secretary now has three months to issue a report on how the order will be implemented. Proponents of the order say it’s a “step in the right direction” that will help patients find relief. Opponents said the action leaves enforcement of controlled substances laws in “judicial limbo.” The executive order also said the definitions of medical and nonmedical use must be established.

One legalization supporter told the Associated Press that only time will tell whether growers and dispensaries would be authorized, or if MMJ will need to be imported.