Brownie laced with marijuana is minor compared to other woes

It’s good to know that the intrepid law enforcement officials down the hill in Quepos are on the job protecting the public from the high octane brownies that were allegedly on sale at the farmer’s market there recently. Who knew we were that close to Armageddon? But now we’re safe from the Brownie Bogey Man. Thank God! (Not!) What a preposterous waste of resources in a town that’s sorely lacking in every category of public service imaginable!

There hasn’t been a cop in my ‘hood after dark in 10 years. There are virtually no services available for battered women or abused kids. The transit police resort to harassing motorists at roadblocks because they don’t have enough gas money to patrol the roads to protect drivers from the hordes of testosterone-driven young idiots in their pathetic little Hyundais who regularly use the main highway as a high speed road course. The potholes in the road outside of my home are so big that one of those noisy motorists may soon just disappear into one of them. (One can only hope.) The list of municipal shortcomings hereabouts is both endless and very typical of the rest of the country.

I’ve known the vendor in question for years and buy every weekend the delicious food that he and his family make. And while I’ve never availed myself of his psychotropic desserts, I’m sure their quality is equal to his other offerings. Coincidentally, he was one of the vendors at the market who was threatened with arrest and prosecution last year just before Christmas by a rogue health department inspector who decided that the public needed to be protected from the same food they’d been buying there for decades because it wasn’t labeled. (This same inspector tried to cancel the New Year’s fireworks display in Quepos and was run out of town!)

The cost to label the food? $100 per item and a lengthy laboratory analysis by the health department in San Jose, which would have rejected the application if there was even the slightest variance between the declared ingredients/amounts and the actual contents. My friend, the vendor, told me that it would cost him almost a year’s profits to pay off the costs of the labeling because of the variety of his offerings.

The Costa Rican government should stop nitpicking and harassing small business owners and citizens over laws that are either unenforced or unenforceable and focus on the issues that are the most pressing to the public and the economy: security, health care, education, infrastructure and social services. Clearly, somebody whose brain is still stuck in the paranoid and uninformed “Reefer Madness” mentality of the U.S. in the 1930s felt threatened by the availability of magic pastries down at the feria, but it would have been SO much simpler, time effective and cheaper for a cop to just go down there and say ” Hey, Bubba! Knock it off!” What ever happened to common sense?

Dean Barbour
Manuel Antonio

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