During his last public address as the leader of Puerto Rico, Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla has called for the legalization of cannabis throughout the U.S. territory.
Legalization would lower crime rates and reduce hypocrisy in the judicial system, Garcia argued on Monday. He said that at the very least, Puerto Rico legislators should approve a bill filed in 2013 that would decriminalize cannabis.
Garcia signed a bill to legalize medical cannabis in Puerto Rico last May, but lawmakers shortly passed restrictions that banned smoking the plant. A program for the cultivation and sale of marijuana infused products for medical purposes is expected to come into effect later in 2016.
Garcia will not be seeking reelection for a second four-year term, and the island will be holding general elections this November. Though his approval ratings have suffered heavily throughout his term, Garcia says his final actions as Governor will be directed towards solving the territory’s $69 billion public debt.