Puerto Rico’s governor has signed an executive order that authorizes the use of medical marijuana in the U.S. territory in a surprise move following a lengthy public debate.
Gov. Alejandro García Padilla says the island’s health secretary has three months to issue a report detailing how the executive order is being implemented, the impact it has had and what future steps could be taken. The order went into effect on Sunday.
García said the government will soon outline the exact uses of marijuana and its derivatives for medical purposes. He noted that medical marijuana is used elsewhere to treat pain associated with multiple sclerosis, AIDS and other illnesses.
Medical marijuana is already legal in 23 states, and a group of U.S. legislators is seeking to remove federal prohibitions on it.