Costa Rican President Rodrigo Chaves has announced plans to legalize cannabis. During the official act commemorating the first 100 days of his administration, the president created the event by unveiling this initiative.
According to Rodrigo Chaves, the project will be sent to Congress for discussion. Likewise, he also claimed that his administration would soon release the medical cannabis regulations, which the previous Congress approved.
“We have prepared the regulation of industrial hemp and cannabis for medical use, and we will promote the bill for the legalization of cannabis for recreational use,” the president said in his speech.
Nevertheless, the president did not give specific details on how cannabis would be regulated.
The proposal takes no one by surprise. During his campaign, Rodrigo Chaves declared that he was for the legalization of cannabis and that he would initiate the necessary reforms. Chaves had also said there was scientific evidence to support the decision. In addition, he explained the case of several countries that have legalized it and achieved good results.
In 2021, former Congressman Enrique Sanchez also introduced a bill that sought to decriminalize the recreational use of cannabis. Lawmakers did not support it at the time. The country had also already announced in 2020 its intention to return to growth via hemp.
Getting this project approved will not be an easy task. The proposal still gets a lot of backlash from some sectors, and some political parties have opposed the legalization of cannabis in the past.
Fabricio Alvarado, leader of the New Republic (PNR) party, said he would oppose the proposal. However, some parties are ready to decriminalize cannabis use and hope there will be an open and transparent dialogue.
“We should analyze this proposal from different angles. The plan can be viable as long as the opinions of the various ministries are taken into account. I think it has been applied in developed countries, giving good results. It is important to speak openly,” noted Johana Obando, MP for the Progressive Liberal Party.