PRESS RELEASE - U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. signed the Medical Cannabis Patient Care Act into law Tuesday, making the territory the latest U.S. jurisdiction to adopt an effective medical marijuana law. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Positive T.A. Nelson, received final approval from the Legislature on Dec. 28.
Effective medical marijuana laws have been adopted in 32 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of Guam, Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands. Seventeen other states have adopted medical marijuana laws that are ineffective because they are either unworkable or exceptionally restrictive. Idaho is the only state and American Samoa is the only U.S. territory without any form of medical marijuana law.
Karen O'Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, said, "We applaud Gov. Bryan and the Virgin Islands Legislature for enacting this sensible and compassionate legislation. Medical marijuana is widely recognized as an effective treatment for a variety of debilitating conditions and symptoms. This new law offers the prospect of relief for countless patients, and it will do so for generations to come.
"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."