Costa Rica Moves Closer to Legalizing Weed

October 20, 2022 · Vice

Costa Rica just took its biggest step yet toward legalizing weed.

President Rodrigo Chaves signed a proposed law this week that could legalize recreational marijuana in the Central American nation. The legalization bill was sent on Wednesday to the country’s legislative assembly where lawmakers will analyze it, along with results of similar laws in other countries, before eventually voting on passing the regulation. 

It is unclear how long this process will take, but presidential support means that it has the institutional backing to potentially succeed.

“It is no secret to anyone that marijuana is consumed in Costa Rica, more and more openly in streets and parks. It is a reality,” Chaves said in a press conference after the signing, according to the Associated Press.

“What has been the consequence of the State being outside of that regulatory activity?” he asked. “That criminal groups, gangs, drug traffickers, those who do retail, have taken advantage.”

He said that he believed that the legalization of cannabis would undercut the criminal marketplace which currently controls the sale of weed in the country, and create a safer buying environment for consumers. He also stressed that the legalization of recreational cannabis would help Costa Rica through taxable revenue and new employment and business opportunities.

Chaves entered office in May 2022. One of his main campaign promises was the legalization of recreational cannabis. The previous government under former president Carlos Alvarado Quesada successfully passed medicinal cannabis and industrial hemp legislation in March 2022. Full Story

In categories:International Legalization
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