Youth Group Promotes The Legalization of Marijuana in Costa Rica

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Jun 21, 2007
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Cannabis (marijuana) in Costa Rica is illegal but there is a high tolerance of smoking marijuana throughout the country, a decriminalization system is implemented de facto since police do not detain people carrying enough for only personal consumption, yet no amount has been defined as a minimum for possession.

Usage of Cannabis in Costa Rica is very high.

Many now feel it is time to legalize marijuana in Costa Rica. One such movement is using Facebook - "Si a la legalización de la marihuana en Costa Rica" - and other social media, now has a total of 5.615 likes.

The movement says it opposes to the war on drugs started by former U.S. president, Richard Nixon, in 1971 and Costa Rica's following of the U.S. prohibition model that could end up to the similar impossible situation in Mexico.

Many of the comments on the website say that keeping marijuana illegal funds drug trafficking. In other forums on the subject, people write: "Each time we go anywhere in the world to areas catering to tourists, alcohol is sold in abundance. We see people getting too drunk to drive, and who act obnoxious. Yet people who quietly and peacefully smoke cannabis are subjected to unfair stigma and harsh laws".

Behind the movement are Alfonso Trejos and Diego Grooscors who speak openly that marijuana should be able to be purchased in Costa Rica like any other product in a supermarket.

According to experts in drug trafficking and security, legalizing drugs although reducing the violence generated by drug trafficking, may also increase a public health problems and addiction.

Although the Costa Rican government spends billions of colones in combating drug trafficking, authorities say they do not see viable the legalization of drugs like marijuana.

In countries like the Netherlands, consumption of soft drugs is allowed, marijuana is sold in coffee shops, where you can buy the plant or even marijuana cigarettes. Contradictory to what many thought, the Dutch authorities closed 8 prisons for lack of inmates, the media reported from that country.

As a result the Dutch are even thinking of selling their prison space to neighbouring countries like Belgium with a prison overcrowding problem.

Medicinal use of cannabis islegal in a number of countries, including Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Israel and 16 states of the United States.

Since 1994, in Colombia, cannabis has been decriminalized for possession of small amounts up to 1 gram for personal consumption, however sale and cultivation remains illegal.

Many in Costa Rica feel that legalizing marijuana would create legitimate jobs and provide a source of revenue for all Costa Rica, and put the illegal drug cartels out of business.


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