Puerto Rico Adopts Medical Marijuana Regulations

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Jan 30, 2016 07:53 PM EST

Caption:LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 19: Dave Warden, a bud tender at Private Organic Therapy (P.O.T.), a non-profit co-operative medical marijuana dispensary, displays various types of marijuana available to patients on October 19, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Attorney General Eric Holder announced new guidelines today for federal prosecutors in states where the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is allowed under state law. Federal prosecutors will no longer trump the state with raids on the southern California dispensaries as they had been doing, but Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley recently began a crackdown campaign that will include raids against the facilities. Cooley maintains that virtually all marijuana dispensaries are in violation of the law because they profit from their product. The city of LA has been slow to come to agreement on how to regulate its 800 to 1,000 dispensaries. Californians voted to allow sick people with referrals from doctors to consume cannabis with the passage of state ballot Proposition 215 in 1996 and a total of 14 states now allow the medicinal use of marijuana. (Photo : David McNew/Getty Images)

Puerto Rico is now among the many states in the Latin America which have adopted the use of marijuana in medicine.

According to Puerto Rico's Public Affairs Secretary Jesus Manuel Ortiz, as per Fox News Latino, the whole system is slated to be implemented by the end of this year. The country's health department announced Thursday that it will be implementing a "seed-to-sale inventory tracking system."

Moreover, the ministry of health will also grant licenses to doctors as well as to private businesses and organizations that are looking to cultivate and manufacture marijuana for medicinal purposes. Samples must, however, be sent to independent labs for testing in order to ensure that they contain the correct amounts of THC and are free of contaminants.

The new decree will oversee the cultivation, manufacturing and distribution of medical marijuana in the country.

Furthermore, the new regulation allows the use of marijuana for the following: pills, creams, patches and oral drops. Apart from that, the same report noted that smoking cannabis and planting and growing it for personal use is still illegal.

There are studies, however, that reveal facts about medical and recreational pot users that may prove or disprove the rationale of pot regulators. SFGATE, in a report, presents the reality behind marijuana regulation.

Researchers hailing from the RAND Drug Policy Research Center have released the results of a new study in the Addiction journal. The study compares medical and recreational marijuana users in states that have legalized the said drug.

A total of 1,994 respondents were surveyed for the study to represent "household populations" of Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington.

Here are the five findings from the study, as per SFGATE.

1) Prohibition, apparently, did not work.

In spite of government control, 41% of the respondents were reported to have used the drug recreationally at least once in their lifetime.

2) Doctors and dispensaries are crucial.

Around 7% of the respondents have admitted to using marijuana for medical purposes. However, more than 50% of those who did admitted that they did not have a physician's recommendation when they took the drug.

3) Best Medicine Ever?

There are about 86% of those surveyed who made use of marijuana as medicine also admitted to exploiting the drug for personal purposes.

4) There is a problem of "standard."

It was found that those who use cannabis for medical purposes users consumed more of the drug daily than those who use the drug for recreation. (1.1 grams per day versus 0.35 gram).

5) Not Served With Alcohol

The study found that "medical-only" users of marijuana did not take the drug concurrently with alcohol.

"The rate of simultaneous use of alcohol and marijuana was lower than researchers expected," Rosalie Pacula, the study's lead author and a senior economist, said as per SFGATE.

Pacula furthers that public health officials should pay closer attention to the risks of simultaneous use of alcohol and marijuana. Moreover, authorities should monitor those who use the drug only for recreational purposes.

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