The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Around three hundred people marched on April 20 in San Juan to celebrate the International Day of Marihuana and to demand the government of Puerto Rico to decriminalize its use.
Before marching from the Luis Muñoz Rivera Park to the Capitol or Puerto Rican Parliament, the lawyer Shadiff Repullo, organizer of the movement “Free Juana”, said that in his opinion people should not be imprisoned for marijuana.
The mission of the movement “Free Juana” is to educate about the need of the decriminalization of marijuana and advocate for the free and responsible use, Repullo explained.
He added that the movement supports a project promoted by the legislator Miguel Pereira, member of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, which seeks to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana and legalizing its use for medicinal purposes.
The plan provides that the possession of up to 14 grams should not be characterized as a crime and is considered as an infringement, which could lead to a maximum fine of $100 (200 in case of relapse and 300 if its is the third time).
If the amount is between 14 and 28 grams one may be punished with a maximum of $500 and six months of prison, and from that amount on will continue consideration of the current felony and present punishments of three years in prison remain obligatory as well as a mandatory fine up to$5,000 will be kept.
Pereira also surprised to ensure that the number of marijuana users in the island is very high, reaching 70% of university students in Puerto Rico and a high percentage of professionals.
Moreover, Pereira’s project has been supported by his legislative and party companion, Ramón Luis Nieves, who came to the march to support the idea of the decriminalization of marijuana, which is now celebrated worldwide.
“I support that we end the absurd policy of personal use. I hope that future laws can banish it,” said Nieves.
Meanwhile, music producer Nico Canada, noted that he supports the use of marijuana because apart of its medicinal benefits that have helped him regarding his asthmatic condition , ” marijuana is the solution to solve the country’s economic crisis” which drags a debt of over 70 billion dollars.
Similarly social psychologist Rafael Torruella, who runs a campaign to decriminalize marijuana, mentioned in an interview that the drug “has to be regulated or legalized for medicinal, industrial and creative use”.
The “Free Juana” movement also prepares a documentary directed by Raf Troncho with the intention of educating people that marijuana has medicinal and economic purposes.
Troncho added that “we must break the taboo” of consumption of the grass. “It does not hurt anyone but is a plant “that has so many uses such as plastic, cement and even can be used for gasoline and textiles. ”
The march culminated with an artistic presentation in which the rock bands Auudi and Vivanativa, members of the group Rhythm The Department, participated.
The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose, Costa Rica