The project states that those who would be classified in need of marijuana as a therapeutic medicine would only be able to use it in the privacy of their homes, not in public places. Those who may not have the financial ability to buy pot from producers or those who may live too far from a pot shop would be given a permit to grow their own plants. This new project has aroused much debate and conflict in the island. There has been an observable trend where most of the younger adults are in favor of this project, while the majority of adults in their 50's and older are not.
The group that is in favor of the project says that marijuana is scientifically proven to end the development of glaucoma; reduce stress, pain, and depression in patients with HIV/AIDS; and reduce nausea and pain caused by chemotherapy in cancer patients. Most important, they say that the legalization of marijuana in the island will lower criminality, eliminate a lot of "puntos", and will decrease the number of people in jail. They state that around 70% of the people in jail are in there for none violent crimes, which include possession of marijuana.
People in Puerto Rico who are against this project state various reasons why the use of mary jane should not be legal. First of all they say that marijuana has negative physical side effects on the human body such as an increase in appetite, lowers blood flow to the brain, causes headaches, nausea, and respiratory problems. Second, marijuana creates a psychological dependence on the user. This means that even though the dependence is not due to chemical changes in the body, the user likes the way he or she feels while smoking pot and therefore uses it more often until he or she finds it hard to quit.
The issue of the legalization of marijuana is very important because it brings up valid points in both cases. Many countries and states such as Holland have legalized its use and it seems that it has not caused any negative effects, on the contrary there is less criminality and there are less people in jail.