Costa Rica amends its plan to legalize cannabis

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The Costa Rican government is preparing to present an alternative text for its plan to legalize cannabis for adults, after obtaining feedback from different institutions, including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Costa Rican Institute of Drugs (ICD).

Natalia Díaz, Minister of the Presidency, said the legislation will be developed in coordination between these entities and will include the general observations made by various institutions.

“We will include the general comments that several institutions have made. The idea is to present a new project to solve the problems,” she commented.

If the legalization project goes through, “companies that cultivate or industrialize cannabis for recreational purposes will be able to operate under the free zone regime. Consumers will be able to go to nightclubs, cafes and other businesses to buy these products,” according to local media.

Roy Thompson, president of the Costa Rican Hemp and Cannabis Council, indicated that the recreational cannabis market could generate between 15 and 20 billion dollars in sales per year.

The main opposition to the project comes from medical or judicial associations – the Organization for Legal Investigation (OIJ), the Medical Association, the College of Psychiatrists, the Institute of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction (IAFA) – and from the church

The Episcopal Association has thus firmly opposed the legalization of cannabis.

“The benefits that this project could bring are hypothetical and not based on solid foundations. In contrast, science has consistently demonstrated the widespread harms of cannabis use,” she pointed out.

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