Announcement Followed By First Conference In Central America On Medical Marijuana
Marijuana Reform Initiative Finally Brings Central America Into The Regional Debate
Earlier this month, the Costa Rican Ministry of Health outlined the details for the implementation of a pending bill to research and regulate marijuana for medical and industrial purposes. The bill was introduced by ruling Citizen Action Party legislator Marvin Atencio last year to tax marijuana products and regulate the use of medical marijuana through registration cards for patients provided by the Ministry of Health.
Ten months after Atencios’s proposal, the Ministry of Health released its criteria for the implementation of the bill.
“By taking this issue seriously, Costa Rica is demonstrating compassion for those whose suffering could be alleviated with medical marijuana,” said Hannah Hetzer, policy manager of the Americas at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “With so much momentum for drug policy reform building in the Americas, Costa Rica’s medical marijuana initiative brings Central America into a debate that is already strongly underway elsewhere in the region.”
Among the conditions specified by the Ministry are that medical marijuana must be used as a last resort and that recreational use of marijuana will continue to be illegal. Medical marijuana will be distributed through conventional drug stores and will follow the same prescription rules outlined by the Costa Rican Social Security System.