Cannabis culture in Costa Rica is alive and well, thanks to ongoing decriminalization efforts in the form of governmental proposals, marches, festivals and many different aspects of cultural life. Today, its usage is quite common in such places as the city of Tamarindo on the Pacific Coast, despite the fact that it is technically still illegal.
Growing Public Support
Many in the nation see the herb as a welcomed ally rather than a threat that should be removed. It is in this respect that many other Caribbean countries are having a change of heart and embracing this form of medicine in the public arena. This is reflected most clearly when looking at statistics indicating that more people smoke cannabis than tobacco on average in Costa Rica. In this respect, they inform themselves well on the topic and make efforts as individuals to acquire the healthiest and cleanest products – which usually come from Jamaica.
If you keep an eye on the events calendar in Costa Rica, you’ll notice a number of marches and other public support for new marijuana legislation. An inspiring example is the Movimiento Cannabico Costarricense which is a campaign to defend people’s rights to cultivate the herb, particularly for personal use, as the law does not explicitly prohibit it. However, where most Costa Ricans feel united is in addressing marijuana as a public health concern and there is a fairly general consensus that it can be used to treat a long list of ailments to great effect.
Organizing the Fight for Cannabis
One of the most adamant groups in this fight for cannabis rights is the first association for the expansion of medical marijuana in all Latin America. Costa Rica Alchemy was duly registered at the beginning of 2018, becoming an important representative of cannabis rights, particularly with regard to medical use. The goal is to study the many beneficial applications of cannabis, be they therapeutic, scientific or cultural, with the goal of diminishing its illegal consequences.
Culturally, Costa Rica is already normalizing and developing a healthy and sensible relationship to cannabis. The challenges stem from the political environment, in which constituents and citizens don’t feel heard or represented. Many understand that ignorance can be costly and counterproductive to society as a whole, as well as to their own interests. Year after year, Costa Ricans are demanding change to cannabis laws and making their voices heard.
Taking It to the Streets
Costa Rica has taken it upon itself to hold its future in its own hands and citizens aren’t afraid to effect change by having their voices heard in the main streets of their capital. The world should look to this Caribbean country as an incredible example of the positive role cannabis can play at a cultural level, and acknowledge that it is worth fighting for. In many parts of the world, it is accepted as a part of life, however, in Costa Rica it really is a chant, a celebration and with any luck, an integral, legal part of the future.