The most politically stable country in Central America, Costa Rica, is on its way to legalizing medicinal marijuana.

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — The national legislature of the Republic of Costa Rica has just passed legislation that legalizes medicinal marijuana for all qualifying citizens across the entire country.

Despite opposition from many conservative political groups and President Carlos Alvarado, the legislature’s approval of the law serves as an endorsement of reforming drug war-era policies.

Unfortunately, Alvarado could veto the legislation and force the Costa Rican efforts to legalize medicinal and recreational marijuana back several more years and legislative sessions.

Lawmakers would need to vote on the proposal and approve what the legislature classifies as a qualified majority.

Zoila Rosa Volio Pacheco, a lawmaker who has backed marijuana legislation in the past, says that Alvarado should see that the bill is balanced and consider several stakeholders’ positions.

“I trust that President Alvarado has understood that and will not veto it,” said Volio Pacheco in a statement to Reuters wire service.

If the proposed law isn’t vetoed, the production and processing of cannabis will be permitted for medical purposes only.

Recreational use, like for many jurisdictions with only medicinal marijuana, remains illegal and therefore unregulated.

The development of medicinal marijuana legalization is a positive step toward a harm reduction-oriented drug policy.

For vaping, the marijuana vape category could grow with the introduction of e-liquids that include medicinal and recreational THC, delta-8, CBD, and other cannabinoids used for ingestion.

Vaping, however, is a mixed bag for Costa Rican regulators.

The Tico Times, an English newspaper published in Costa Rica, reports that Costa Rican lawmakers have approved in second reading and debate a bill that bans the use of vaping devices and electronic cigarettes in public spaces like restaurants and parks.

“It is completely in line with the health alert we already issued regarding the use of vaping devices, where we have even been very clear that there is no study that can show e-cigarettes are a smoking cessation therapy,” said a spokesperson from the Costa Rican Health Ministry to the Times.

Previous articleAnalysis: Florida Student Hospitalized From Vaping
Next articleThe Cannabis Law Reforms Taking Place in Europe
Michael McGrady is a columnist for Vaping Post's English edition. He is a critically acclaimed journalist with awards and recognition from across the industry. He was a finalist for ECigClick's annual vape awards in 2019 and 2020, a KAC Tobacco Harm Reduction Scholarship Fellow in 2019, among other honours. He is also the host of Vaping Weekly, the Post's podcast. All articles express his own opinion and do not necessarily reflect the Editor's view.
3 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly
8 months ago

When a loved one is in pain, wasting away unable to eat, and needs this marvelous herb in order to increase their appetite, reduce the overwhelming pain, and live as as healthy and happily as they can with the time they have left, let’s have the compassion to allow them to have it.

Stop treating Medical Marijuana Patients like second rate citizens and common criminals by forcing them to the dangerous black market for their medicine.

Risking incarceration to obtain the medicine you need is no way to be forced to live.

Support Medical Marijuana Now!

“[A] federal policy that prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane.” — Dr. Jerome Kassirer, “Federal Foolishness and Marijuana,” editorial, New England Journal of Medicine, January 30, 1997

“[M]arijuana has an extremely wide acute margin of safety for use under medical supervision and cannot cause lethal reactions … [G]reater harm is caused by the legal consequences of its prohibition than possible risks of medicinal use.” — American Public Health Association, Resolution #9513, “Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis,” 1995

“When appropriately prescribed and monitored, marijuana/cannabis can provide immeasurable benefits for the health and well-being of our patients … We support state and federal legislation not only to remove criminal penalties associated with medical marijuana, but further to exclude marijuana/cannabis from classification as a Schedule I drug.” — American Academy of HIV Medicine, letter to New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, November 11, 2003

“The National Nurses Society on Addictions urges the federal government to remove marijuana from the Schedule I category immediately, and make it available for physicians to prescribe. NNSA urges the American Nurses’ Association and other health care professional organizations to support patient access to this medicine.” — National Nurses Society on Addictions, May 1, 1995

“[The AAFP accepts the use of medical marijuana] under medical supervision and control for specific medical indications.” — American Academy of Family Physicians, 1989, reaffirmed in 2001

“[We] recommend … allow[ing] [marijuana] prescription where medically appropriate.” — National Association for Public Health Policy, November 15, 1998

“Therefore be it resolved that the American Nurses Association will: — Support the right of patients to have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis under appropriate prescriber supervision.” — American Nurses Association, resolution, 2003

Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly
Reply to  Brian Kelly
8 months ago

Fear of Medical Marijuana Legalization is unfounded. Not based on any science or fact whatsoever.

So please all prohibitionists, we beg you to give your scare tactics, “Conspiracy Theories” and “Doomsday Scenarios” over the inevitable Legalization of Medical Marijuana Nationwide a rest. Nobody is buying them anymore these days. Okay?

Furthermore, if all prohibitionists get when they look into that nice, big and shiny crystal ball of theirs, while wondering about the future of Medical Marijuana Legalization Nationwide, is horror, doom, and despair, well then I suggest they return that thing as quickly as possible and reclaim the money they shelled out for it, since it’s obviously defective.

The prohibition of marijuana has not decreased the supply nor the demand for medical marijuana at all. Not one single iota, and it never will. Just a huge and complete waste of our tax dollars to continue criminalizing sick patients and senior citizens in pain for choosing a natural, non-toxic, relatively benign plant proven to be much safer than popping daily handfuls of deadly, toxic, man-made, highly addictive, narcotic pain pills and other pharmaceuticals.

If prohibitionists are going to take it upon themselves to worry about “saving us all” from ourselves, then they need to start with the drug that causes more death and destruction than every other drug in the world COMBINED, which is alcohol!

Why do prohibitionists feel the continued need to vilify and demonize marijuana when they could more wisely focus their efforts on a real, proven killer, alcohol, which again causes more destruction, violence, and death than all other drugs, COMBINED?

Prohibitionists really should get their priorities straight and or practice a little live and let live. They’ll live longer, happier, and healthier, with a lot less stress if they refrain from being bent on trying to control others through Draconian Marijuana Laws.

Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly
Reply to  Brian Kelly
8 months ago

Nobody can deny the Medical effectiveness of Medical Marijuana.

Below is a small sampling of just a few of the many Professional Medical Organizations Worldwide that attest to Medical Marijuana’s effectiveness and Support Legal Access to and Use of Medical Marijuana.

Along with over thirty U.S states that have already legalized medical marijuana.

Are they ALL wrong?

International and National Organizations

AIDS Action Council
AIDS Treatment News
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Medical Student Association
American Nurses Association
American Preventive Medical Association
American Public Health Association
American Society of Addiction Medicine
Arthritis Research Campaign (United Kingdom)
Australian Medical Association (New South Wales) Limited
Australian National Task Force on Cannabis
Belgian Ministry of Health
British House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology
British House of Lords Select Committee On Science and Technology (Second Report)
British Medical Association
Canadian AIDS Society
Canadian Special Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs
Dr. Dean Edell (surgeon and nationally syndicated radio host)
French Ministry of Health
Health Canada
Kaiser Permanente
Lymphoma Foundation of America
The Montel Williams MS Foundation
Multiple Sclerosis Society (Canada)
The Multiple Sclerosis Society (United Kingdom)
National Academy of Sciences Institute Of Medicine (IOM)
National Association for Public Health Policy
National Nurses Society on Addictions
Netherlands Ministry of Health
New England Journal of Medicine
New South Wales (Australia) Parliamentary Working Party on the Use of Cannabis for Medical Purposes
Dr. Andrew Weil (nationally recognized professor of internal medicine and founder of the National Integrative Medicine Council)

State and Local Organizations

Alaska Nurses Association
Being Alive: People With HIV/AIDS Action Committee (San Diego, CA)
California Academy of Family Physicians
California Nurses Association
California Pharmacists Association
Colorado Nurses Association
Connecticut Nurses Association
Florida Governor’s Red Ribbon Panel on AIDS
Florida Medical Association
Hawaii Nurses Association
Illinois Nurses Association
Life Extension Foundation
Medical Society of the State of New York
Mississippi Nurses Association
New Jersey State Nurses Association
New Mexico Medical Society
New Mexico Nurses Association
New York County Medical Society
New York State Nurses Association
North Carolina Nurses Association
Rhode Island Medical Society
Rhode Island State Nurses Association
San Francisco Mayor’s Summit on AIDS and HIV
San Francisco Medical Society
Vermont Medical Marijuana Study Committee
Virginia Nurses Association
Whitman-Walker Clinic (Washington, DC)
Wisconsin Nurses Association

Additional AIDS Organizations

The following organizations are signatories to a February 17, 1999 letter to the US Department of Health petitioning the federal government to “make marijuana legally available … to people living with AIDS.”

AIDS Action Council
AIDS Foundation of Chicago
AIDS National Interfaith Network (Washington, DC)
AIDS Project Arizona
AIDS Project Los Angeles
Being Alive: People with HIV/AIDS Action Committee (San Diego, CA)
Boulder County AIDS Project (Boulder, CO)
Colorado AIDS Project
Center for AIDS Services (Oakland, CA)
Health Force: Women and Men Against AIDS (New York, NY)
Latino Commission on AIDS
Mobilization Against AIDS (San Francisco, CA)
Mothers Voices to End AIDS (New York, NY)
National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual And Transgender Association
National Native American AIDS Prevention Center
Northwest AIDS Foundation
People of Color Against AIDS Network (Seattle, WA)
San Francisco AIDS Foundation
Whitman-Walker Clinic (Washington, DC)

Other Health Organizations

The following organizations are signatories to a June 2001 letter to the US Department of Health petitioning the federal government to “allow people suffering from serious illnesses … to apply to the federal government for special permission to use marijuana to treat their symptoms.”

Addiction Treatment Alternatives
AIDS Treatment Initiatives (Atlanta, GA)
American Public Health Association
American Preventive Medical Association
Bay Area Physicians for Human Rights (San Francisco, CA)
California Legislative Council for Older Americans
California Nurses Association
California Pharmacists Association
Embrace Life (Santa Cruz, CA)
Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
Hawaii Nurses Association
Hepatitis C Action and Advisory Coalition
Life Extension Foundation
Maine AIDS Alliance
Minnesota Nurses Association
Mississippi Nurses Association
National Association of People with AIDS
National Association for Public Health Policy
National Women’s Health Network
Nebraska AIDS Project
New Mexico Nurses Association
New York City AIDS Housing Network
New York State Nurses Association Ohio Patient Network Okaloosa AIDS Support and Information Services (Fort Walton, FL)
Physicians for Social Responsibility – Oregon
San Francisco AIDS Foundation
Virginia Nurses Association
Wisconsin Nurses Association

Health Organizations Supporting Medical Marijuana Research

International and National Organizations

American Cancer Society
American Medical Association
British Medical Journal
California Medical Association
California Society on Addiction Medicine
Congress of Nursing Practice
Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
Jamaican National Commission on Ganja
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Workshop on the Medical Utility of Marijuana
Texas Medical Association
Vermont Medical Society
Wisconsin State Medical Society