Cannabis in Puerto Rico

In Puerto Rico, marijuana (cannabis) is legal for medical purposes but illegal for recreational purposes. Legislation to ban cannabis was passed in 1932, and legislation to legalize medical cannabis was passed in 2015. Although the medical use of marijuana is permitted, smoking the substance is not legal.

Prohibition (1932)

On 19 April 1932 Puerto Rico enacted Act 12, "An Act to Punish the Planting, Importation, Purchase, and Sale of Marijuana, and for Other Purposes" (Spanish: "Ley para castigar la siembra, importación, compra y venta de la marijuana, y para otros fines").[1] The included penalties were a minimum of one month and maximum of one year in jail.[2]

On May 13, 1934, Puerto Rico enacted Act No. 61, in keeping with the 1932 Uniform Narcotic Drug Act.[2]

Attempted decriminalization (2013)

In 2013 Representative José Báez proposed decriminalization, however polling by the newspaper El Nuevo Día indicated that 70% of those surveyed were against decriminalization, with 26% in favor and 4% unsure.[3]

Medical cannabis (2015)

In May 2015, Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla signed an executive order permitting the use of medical cannabis.[4]


  1. Puerto Rico (1935). Acts and Resolutions of Puerto Rico. Equity de Puerto Rico. pp. 158–159.
  2. 1 2 Sidney Kaye; Gilbert W. Meier (1985). Alcohol, Drugs, and Traffic Safety: Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs, and Traffic Safety, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1983. U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. pp. 26–.
  3. "Rotundo "no" a la marihuana legal". El Nuevo Dia. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  4. Alexandra Sifferlin. "Puerto Rico Governor Signs Executive Order to Legalize Medical Pot". Retrieved 28 September 2015.
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