Spokesmen for the Costa Rican Institute on Drugs (ICD) appeared last Tuesday at the Environment Commission to give their criteria regarding the recreational marijuana bill promoted by the Government. Although Fernando Ramírez, Director General of the ICD, avoided saying openly if the entity is in favor or against file 23,383, some deputies considered that their balance is in favor of legalization. During his presentation, Ramírez focused on defending that the initiative seeks to regularize consumption for people over 18 years old and therefore does not concern minors. He stressed that it is wrong to indicate that the commercialization would be left to the free as the initiative is clear with aspects of who could consume this product.
“It must be clear that the project focuses on what is the regularization of cannabis for adults”, said the chief. “The project focuses on marketing for adults, it must be taken into account that within prevention programs there are actions to attend to the situation of minors, there is statistical data that establishes the care for these people, but within the In the same regulatory body under construction, institutions or bodies are established where they must promote mechanisms to prevent the access of minors to this substance”, he said when questioned by deputies.
Given these responses, the neo-republican David Segura expressed his concern about the position offered by the ICD through Ramírez. He reproached him that he has only been in the position for a month and that his statements are contrary to reports previously issued by the same institution. “The previous response and the emphasis that is focused on adults and not on children leaves me concerned and I wonder why there is so much to hide consumption by minors”, Segura questioned. The congressman’s interest is to defend that there is no way to guarantee that with legalization there will be no consumption by minors under 18 years of age.
On the other hand, the official Manuel Morales defended that the Government’s plan is exclusive for the elderly. In the same way, he pointed out that the plan intends that adults do not buy products from drug traffickers. “There are underage youth who are already consuming marijuana, in an illegal market, what we are doing is regulating the market so that these children do not have access to drug traffickers, but rather everything that is consumed as adults is through safe places”, he pointed out.
David Segura (right in the image) criticized the position of the ICD, while the official Manuel Morales (left in the photo) applauded the position of the Institute. Courtesy Legislative Assembly.
On the other hand, Ramírez recognized that there are some faculties that are introduced within the project for the ICD that require readjustment in other current laws. “It adjusts some aspects so that the purposes for which the Costa Rican Institute on Drugs was created can be adjusted to the obligations and powers that would be given to it in this project”, he said explicitly.
In order to continue with the analysis of this file, the Commission agreed to call in hearing representatives of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Costa Rican Association of Psychiatry. In addition, to consult the text with the National Academy of Medicine, Episcopal Conference, Evangelical Alliance, Narcotics Anonymous Organization and the Ministry of Finance.
The project establishes that the sale and consumption would be authorized for people of legal age and the regulated possession would be up to 30 grams. In addition, the possession of other products derived from cannabis for personal consumption is authorized, as long as it is not for commercialization or profit, as established in the articles. Otherwise, it is for commercial purposes, you must opt for a license. Thus, article 5 prohibits consumption and access for minors under 18 years old.