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Puerto Rico holds public hearings on pot bill

September 17, 2013

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Legislators in Puerto Rico are holding public hearings on a bill that would legalize marijuana for personal use.

Doctors, community leaders and residents spoke Tuesday about a measure that would make it legal to possess up to one ounce of marijuana for those 21 and older.

The measure was submitted earlier this year by Sen. Miguel Pereira, a former federal prosecutor and corrections secretary who has said that possession cases are costly and noted that 80 percent of inmates are serving time for non-violent crimes.

Another recently submitted bill would allow people to use marijuana for medicinal purposes and create a system to legally produce the substance that health officials would regulate. That bill has not yet been debated.

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