A previous piece of legislation that would have legalized the plant was vetoed by the president earlier this year, after which lawmakers made changes requested by President Alvarado.
Costa Rica legalized medicinal marijuana this week after President Carlos Alvarado signed a law passed a day earlier by congress.
Under the new law, hemp cultivation and industrial production are also legalized. However, recreational marijuana use continues to be banned, the Associate Press reported.
A previous piece of legislation that would have legalized the plant was vetoed by the president earlier this year, after which lawmakers made changes requested by President Alvarado who has been very outspoken regarding his opposition to the measure, citing specific grievances after he “partially vetoed” it.
According to The Tico Times, parts of the bill the President wanted to see modified included the wording around self-consumption and self-cultivation, as those areas undermine “legitimate” objectives of the bill and could pose a public safety risk.
Now that he has signed the bill, Alvarado emphasized that the new law will help those who need cannabis to treat symptoms of their illnesses as well as stimulate development in rural areas where hemp will be grown.
Although the president made these moves just as his time in office is coming to an end.
Two presidential candidates, José María Figueres and Rodrigo Chaves, who will face off in a runoff election on April 3, are both known for being in favor of legalizing recreational cannabis.