Medical marijuana legalized in USVI
SAN JUAN – U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. signed the Medical Cannabis Patient Care Act into law last week, making the territory the latest U.S. jurisdiction to adopt a medical marijuana law.
Medical marijuana laws have been adopted in 32 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands.
“I have approved the Virgin Islands Medicinal Cannabis Care Act because it is a step in the right direction toward assisting Virgin Islanders suffering from autoimmune and other debilitating medical conditions,” the Virgin Islands Consortium quoted Bryan as saying.
“The Legislature recognized that the bill, as passed, is not perfect and needs more refinement and amendment and provides for an implementation period that we must aggressively pursue,” Bryan added. “It is part of the process of implementation of the regulatory and operational system. And therefore it will be essential that further revisions be developed, with professional guidance, in the implementation process, including preparation of Regulations, forms, fees, and procedures; and to undertake necessary amendments to the Bill with the Legislature.”
In a release,Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, said: “Most U.S. states and territories have enacted effective medical cannabis laws, and those that have not are giving them increasingly stronger consideration. There is no reason why patients in 18 states and American Samoa should continue to be deprived of this medical treatment option that is now accessible to so many of their fellow Americans.”
Seventeen other states have adopted medical marijuana laws that are ineffective because they are either “unworkable or exceptionally restrictive,” the release added. Idaho is the only state and American Samoa is the only U.S. territory without any form of medical marijuana law.