After legalizing medical marijuana, lawmakers in Puerto Rico have banned smoking the plant. Speaking with the Associated Press this week, Justice Secretary Cesar Miranda stated that “smoking marijuana is not being contemplated as part of a medical treatment.”
Opponents to the ban claim that it is an onerous and shortsighted policy. Amanda Reiman, of the Drug Policy Alliance, stated that “a lot of patients prefer to inhale the cannabis than take it orally. If they have to take it only through a pill, it can be very difficult to tell what the right dose is.”
Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, noted that while patients who have trouble sleeping may prefer a digestible form of marijuana, those dealing with spasms, seizures or nausea likely prefer an intake method that provides a more immediate effect.
“Smoking brings on the pain relief in less than a minute… You want them to take the medication in the form that works best for them.”
Puerto Rico Health Secretary Ana Rius noted that the University of Puerto Rico will be working with two U.S. firms, Chicago-based Quantum 9 and Las Vegas-based GrowBlox Sciences, to research the use and production of medical marijuana.
Photo Credit: Blind Nomad
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