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Puerto Rico debates legalizing marijuana use

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Dozens of people are marching through Puerto Rico’s capital in support of a recent bill filed by a former police chief that aims to legalize marijuana for personal use, unleashing an unprecedented debate in this conservative U.S. territory.

The crowd marched Saturday to the seaside Capitol building, where Sen. Miguel Pereira filed a bill this week stating it should be legal for those 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. The actions of Pereira, who’s also a former federal prosecutor, have polarized the island.

Currently, those charged with marijuana possession can face up to three years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said he supports an open debate on the issue, adding it’s not a priority for his administration.



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