Costa Rica legislature votes to legalize medical marijuana
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Costa Rica legislature votes to legalize medical marijuana

Costa Rica’s legislative assembly on Tuesday passed the Cannabis and Hemp Production for Medical Purposes Law. The marijuana law is now pending Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado’s approval.

According to Costa Rica’s research, marijuana and hemp production is currently legal in over 21 countries, where more than 1000 million people report using the drug. Of these marijuana-permitting countries, 60 percent restrict marijuana and hemp use to medical purposes. Costa Rica’s research noted that comparatively, Costa Rica’s climate and the environment benefit from marijuana production. As such, Costa Ricans would need less infrastructure investment to produce the drug.

Costa Rica’s legislative assembly found this research persuasive and implemented two legal objectives. First, it seeks to establish a pharmaceutical industry that will produce various marijuana and hemp products. Second, it aims to provide national consumers with quality products. Costa Rica’s Congress reiterated that these projects will not support recreational marijuana or hemp use and that it expects this new revenue source to generate millions of dollars for the country.

The president could still veto the bill. At a june press conference with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinkenn, Alvarado expressed an interest in continuing to decrease the amount of drug trafficking within the country. He said that his administration had “seen an increase . . . in interdicting cocaine and marijuana, and that [had been] been a result of the cooperation between [the US and Costa Rica].”

Costa Rica has seen more progressive legislation in recent years. Earlier this year, Costa Rica became the first Central American country to legalize same-sex marriage. If Alvarado signs the marijuana bill into law, Costa Rica will likely become the tenth Latin American country to permit medical marijuana use.