This article was originally published Hemp and technology today It is shown here with permission.
After many years of completely banning cannabis for medical use around the worldMedical cannabis is now legal in some form in dozens of countries.
Medicinal cannabis reform has spread across the Western Hemisphere more rapidly than in the Eastern Hemisphere.
Unfortunately, not every country in the Western Hemisphere is on the right side of history when it comes to medical cannabis policy, with Costa Rica being one example.
The Costa Rican legislature recently passed a medical cannabis bill. It hit a dead end as soon as it was sent to the head of the Central American country for signature.
It was widely expected that Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada would veto a medical cannabis bill passed by lawmakers last year.
He was very vocal about his opposition to the measure and cited some specific grievances after he “partially reversed” the measure, as described by local media coverage.
according to Tico TimesThe clip wants to amend parts of the bill, specifically the wording around self-consumption and self-farming. He feels that these areas undermine the “legitimate” goals of the bill and could pose a risk to public safety.
“I want to say categorically that I support medical cannabis,” Kisada said. Tico Times.
“This is to relieve people with various diseases and I even have very close and dear people who need it. I also support industrial hemp, because it will help agricultural production and economic recovery. Let’s make this very clear: I agree with all of these goals and I want to be able to sign this law.”
The move by the Costa Rican president might be described as a partial veto, however, the end result appears to be nothing passed and results in the same effect as a full veto.
Where does Costa Rica go from here?
The rejected measure is now being sent back to the legislature with the president’s concerns that lawmakers will take it into account.
Lawmakers in Costa Rica won’t meet until February 7, with elections set for February 6.
Many political observers inside and outside cannabis circles don’t believe it is a coincidence that the president has waited so long to veto the medicinal cannabis bill.
Regardless, it doesn’t make sense why a country’s president would want to restrict safe access to a proven drug, especially when he claims to have people very close to them who would benefit from increased access.