Caja declines to support medical cannabis

The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social has declined to support the medical use of cannabis. The board of directors made that decision Friday.

María del Rocío Sáenz Madrigal, the executive president of the Caja, said the discussion was based on a proposed law that promoted the cultivation, processing and use of cannabis for medical purposes. She said the discussion was generated by a request from the legislature to comment on the bill.

Lawmakers introduced the bill last August, and there has been little action since. Dr. Sáenz said that there was little chance of quick approval.

The proposal is No. 19.256. and it covers the three types of cannabis, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis.

The bill would not legalize the recreational use of the drug but establishes regulations for the chain of production for medical use, the doctor noted.

The recreational and medical use of cannabis or marijuana is well entrenched here. Even A.M. Costa Rica columnist Jo Stuart, who died last April at 84, admitted to the medical use of the weed in her writings.

The recreational use must be substantial because security ministry crewmen intercepted yet another boat this week in the Caribbean, and it contained 1,815 kilos, nearly two tons, presumably of Jamacian origin. Such confiscations are frequent, suggesting that Costa Rica is a major market.

The Talamanca mountains are well known as a source for Costa Rican marijuana. And individuals even can be seen on the street smoking marijuana cigarettes.

Some marijuana users hope the country accepts the example of Colorado, which legalized the weed.

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