Marijuana may be able to provide chronic pain relief where many other medications do not. Medical marijuana for chronic pain management can reduce patients' pain and improve their quality of life. Nations across the globe have laws relating to authorization of medical marijuana. Puerto Rico's Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla has authorized the use of marijuana for medicinal use. But smoking marijuana will continue to be banned.
The governor signed the decree late Sunday, instructing his health secretary to work out the details of its implementation.
Health Secretary Ana Rius Armendariz said, "The measure will clear the way for suppliers to begin making medicines derived from marijuana as early as August. Regulations must now be drawn up governing how cannabis will be dispensed, who will have the right to produce it and what diagnoses will be required for treatment with marijuana-derived products."
Garcia Padilla cited US studies that have found that cannabis can relieve pain caused by multiple sclerosis, AIDs, glaucoma, Alzheimer's, migraines and other diseases that sometimes resist traditional treatment.
This move follows a trend in the United States, where 24 of 50 states plus the District of Columbia allow the use of medical marijuana. It drew criticism from some of the members of Puerto Rico's legislature, where medicinal marijuana legislation had failed to win passage.