Costa Ricans do not support legalized marijuana

English: Close up shot of some high quality ma...

December 13th, 2013 ( Costa Ricans do not support the legalization of marijuana in the country, according to a recent survey by the School of Statistics at the University of Costa Rica (UCR).  The survey comes after Uruguay became the first country to fully legalize a national marijuana market.


According to the study, just 15% of Costa Ricans are in favor of legalization, while 50% do not see any benefit in legalizing the drug.  Only 15.5% believe marijuana should be legalized.


The survey was conducted amongst a sample of 824 adults across the country and has a margin of error of 3%.


According to data from the Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (IAFA), 2.6% of Costa Ricans consumed marijuana in 2010 and 7.1% have consumed marijuana at some point in their life.


While the survey shows that Costa Rican are against the blanket legalization of marijuana, 52.9% said they would support medical use of the drug.

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    • Andrew

      Note to ICR Staff: if you have no further plans for that beautiful bud……..

    • Douglas Hotchkiss

      hahaha, yeeaahh , whoever wrote this was drunk .

    • Douglas Hotchkiss

      if the cops quit driving around looking for weed to steal , they might have to tackle real criminals..

    • disgusted

      Let us vote on this in February 2014 election. Uruguay is way ahead of the on this issue and like Colorado in the USA . This could be a cash cow .

      • roberto

        “I think that marijuana
        should not only be legal, I think it should be a cottage industry. It
        would be wonderful for the state of Maine. There’s some pretty good
        homegrown dope. I’m sure it would be even better if you could grow it
        with fertilizers and have greenhouses.”

        ~Stephen King

    • roberto

      “Forty million Americans smoked marijuana; the only ones who didn’t like it were Judge Ginsberg, Clarence Thomas and Bill Clinton.”

      ~Jay Leno

    • Forest King

      The title of your article is wrong.

      If 52.9% said they would support medical use of the drug, they are supporting legalization. Prescription drugs are “legal”.

      You might have tried, “A majority of Costa Rican’s support marijuana legalization for medical use.”

      Secondly, 50% see no benefit to legalization, yet if they were asked, they could concurrently see no benefit to it’s being illegal. Maybe they simply don’t care? Or more likely, the survey makers didn’t want to know the answer to that particular question.

      Perhaps the author should consider effectuating journalism without so much obvious bias?

      For those so inclined to investigate the issue further with factual evidence, study Portugal. They decriminalized drugs over 10 years ago. Violent crime from the black market was dramatically reduced. Addiction rates are now less than half since users no longer fear arrest for simply seeking help. Decriminalization didn’t make Portugal the drug capital of the EU, it has become the opposite.

      • Timothy Williams

        The article (and the survey) came shortly after Uruguay’s blanket legalization of marijuana, in order to determine Costa Ricans’ opinions to that sort of legalization, not in terms of marijuana used in a clinical setting.

        • Forest King

          Thanks for clarifying, it doesn’t state the survey was specific to the Uruguay policy, only that it was performed after the law passed. Regardless, the title is misleading.

          As to the “clinical setting”, it isn’t very difficult to obtain a prescription in CR and up until recently many prescription drugs(as determined by the US at least) were doled out by pharmacists.

          And to add fuel to the fire, every time I have visited(quite a few over the last decade), I rarely enter a group of people near the beach communities or nightclubs without smelling it. I cannot help but wonder how broad the survey was in it’s application and about the specific questions asked.

          I understand the knee jerk reaction is to ban things that are perceived as bad for us, but prohibition has never accomplished its goals of reducing problems. We have many instances in both history and various cultures to prove it.

          • Timothy Williams

            One thing to keep in mind is that we write headlines and stories from a Costa Rican context; not the US or international context.

            The debate around “legalization” in Costa Rica has predominately centered around exactly the type of legalization that just occurred in Uruguay, not the US context of “decriminalization” for possession or medical marijuana in California.

            The context in Costa Rica has centered around “legalization” meaning the legalized production, trafficking, sale, and possession of marijuana freely; which mostly started as a discussion that began in the last year centered around reducing crime by giving drug traffickers one less illegal product to traffic.

            So in the context of most of the debate in Costa Rica (not internationally) the headline is accurate. What most Costa Ricans consider to be “legalization” if asked might be different than those in the US or other countries. Hope this helps, and thanks for reading ICR.

    • SaseboSam

      false survey

    • Ken Morris

      Excuse the cynicism, but what’s really new here? Pot is now illegal BUT the cops are ordered not to bust pot smokers, so like pissing on the sidewalk and most unenforced Sala IV rulings about human rights, CR gets the best of both worlds: A lofty law that is routinely violated with impunity. Come on, less than 40% of employees in the country actually enjoy their constitutional employee rights. CR likes idealistic laws, as long as they’re not enforced.