Costa Rican Vice Minister of Peace on Legalizing Marijuana: “I Think the Time Is Right”

    Considering that the repressive measures that the country has taken to combat the use of marijuana have not had good results

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    The Vice Ministry of Peace considers that the repressive measures that the country has taken to combat the use of marijuana have not had good results and rather, it is increasing, so it seems that it is time for the State to intervene and regulate the sale. That is, in summary, the position of this agency on the legalization of marijuana.

    The initiative is defended by the Government and is currently being processed in the Legislative Commission for the Environment. Before this group of deputies, the Vice Minister, Sergio Sevilla, appeared to present the vision of the institution.

    “I somehow feel that the fight that has been taking place has not worked. That all the millions of millions of colones, of hundreds of millions that have been invested, it seems that they have not worked”, said Sevilla.

    According to the official, with the new system the quality of the product could be ensured. In addition, legalization would inject resources into institutions such as IAFA and Social Security. To that he added, yes, that the process should be accompanied by preventive actions and other legal measures.

    “I think there has to be a minimum age requirement, it will be the State that limits that. And we must necessarily strengthen preventive actions in childhood and adolescence”, he added.

    “As a former prosecutor at this time, some may not like it, but the penalties should be extended in the event that vendors supply minors. I believe that these actions should go hand in hand and that minors should be protected or it could get more serious when involving minors in the sale, not only for them to consume but also as potential sellers,” he said.

    Deputies divided by marijuana criteria

    The criteria of the Vice Ministry of Peace generated controversy among the deputies of the Commission, who have expressed different opinions on the legalization of marijuana.

    Manuel Morales, from Progreso Social Democrático, agreed on the failure of the current strategies. He defended that with the law an economic activation could be generated and, incidentally, discourage the use that the prohibition gives. “We have to regulate something that is already in the country, but in the hands of drug traffickers and that could pass into the hands of the State and generate profit,” he said. From the conservative side, the claims were led by Rosalía Brown from Nueva República. “I don’t see the prevention part nor does it show the priority it has, when the law comes into force, if it is approved,” he said. The congresswoman claimed that a lot of emphasis has been placed on the economic part. Brown suggested running a campaign for at least the next 2 years about prevention and the problems that marijuana could bring, according to her.
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