A senator in Puerto Rico has filed a bill to remove penalties for low-level cannabis possession in the U.S. territory, motivated by President Joe Biden’s recent cannabis pardons action.
Independent Sen. José Vargas Vidot introduced the legislation on Tuesday, applauding the president for having “the courage that many here have lacked to say out loud that it does not make sense that there are penalties for simple possession of cannabis.”
He said the bill is all the more necessary given that the governor of the territory has indicated he will not be taking up Biden’s call to issue clemency to people with local convictions. Several other governors have said that they’d be reviewing their authority to that end.
“In Puerto Rico, the step towards enacting medical cannabis legalization was taken, but the courage to decriminalize was lacking,” Vidot said, according to a translation. “If we are saying that cannabis has medical benefits, it is not logical to criminalize those who consume it. It is time to change this.”
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