Ex-Puerto Rico police chief seeks to legalize pot

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Associated Press

Posted on April 18, 2013 at 12:08 PM

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A former Puerto Rico police chief who is now a senator has filed a bill seeking to legalize marijuana possession for personal use.

Miguel Pereia says it should be legal for those 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. Currently, those charged with possession can face up to three years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Pereira has also served as a federal prosecutor and corrections secretary. He says marijuana possession cases are costing the government money, noting that 80 percent of inmates on the island are serving time for non-violent crimes.

Justice Secretary Luis Sanchez Betances did not say whether he favored the measure in an interview with radio station WKAQ, but he said the government should find alternatives to the current law.

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