Regretfully and reluctantly, A.M. Costa Rica today calls for the legalization of marijuana and cocaine.
This newspaper has opposed drug use for the last 14 years, but society, public opinion and public actions have pretty well legalized these drugs even if the government has not.
This is a newspaper that has consistently endorsed the Republican U.S. presidential candidates. But enough is enough.
Costa Rica is on the frontlines of the war on drugs. The futility is obvious.
The Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas intercepted two tons of marijuana at sea Monday. Obviously, the demand for this drug exists in the country.
Young people can be seen smoking marijuana on the street, and some of the vagrants and even some pre-teens can be seen sucking on a crack pipe.
Over the years the prohibition against drugs has developed extensive criminality throughout the hemisphere.
Costa Rica is well situated to become a major marijuana-producing country. Now police units spend sweaty weeks chopping crops of the weed in various rural areas. Each plant is carefully catalogued before it is burned. These law enforcement officers should be put to better use.
Certainly there is an entrenched bureaucracy that thrives on prohibition, U.S. grants and confiscations. These entities are self-serving impediments to legalization.
A push toward legal medical marijuana is nothing more than a facade. Let’s be honest.
Some may say that marijuana is OK but cocaine is not. Use of that drug is widespread, too, and many on the coasts earn their bread by moving tons northward for the cartels.
We think that the United States should legalize these drugs, too, and provide a way so that users can obtain marijuana and cocaine with guaranteed purity instead of the junk that now is available.
People are responsible for their own lives. If marijuana or cocaine is the recreational escape people seek, Big Brother should not interfere. There are pitfalls that enlightened health legislation should minimize.
And if Costa Rica becomes a leader in legalization, tourism and the public treasury both would receive great benefits.
Reader opinions are invited.