‘There is no definitive position,’ says Presidency on medical cannabis project

The President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado, has not yet defined whether he will sign the law that legalizes medicinal cannabis and industrial hemp in Costa Rica, approved by the deputies this Thursday in the second debate.

According to the Minister of Communication, Agustín Castro, this plan will be examined by the president and the ministries in the same way that other projects approved in the Legislative Assembly are analyzed.

Therefore, the minister stated, “there is still no definitive decision on this issue, one way or the other.”

“Once the bill is in the hands of the Executive Branch, the natural and formal process followed by all bills that are approved by the Legislative Assembly will be developed.

“This process contemplates that, once the decrees of law are sent by Congress, they are transferred to the knowledge of the ministries that are competent according to the matter dealt with, since they are the ones who, for these purposes, by constitutional provisions, make up the Executive Branch together with to the President of the Republic”, stated Castro.

The deputies who promoted the initiative urged President Alvarado to sign the bill as soon as possible, which was summoned by the Executive Power to the agenda of extraordinary sessions of Congress.

Congressmen such as Karine Niño and Roberto Thompson, from the National Liberation Party (PLN), demanded that Carlos Alvarado not veto “even partially” the plan, which was approved by 33 deputies.

Meanwhile, the independent Zoila Volio, proponent of the bill, criticized the President of the Republic for his statements in recent days.

Last Monday, Alvarado stated that: “The Government is waiting for a second debate to take place. From this, with the Health authorities, we will review the final text before issuing a decision. That is what we will have to do.”

According to the legislator, with these statements the president hinted at the possibility of vetoing the bill.

Agustín Castro added that the competent ministries “are set a reasonable period, and within the constitutional limit, to analyze the content of the project and present their recommendations to the president, who evaluates them and makes the final decision regarding the signature” .

In case Carlos Alvarado vetoes the bill, the deputies will be able to seal the initiative with 38 votes in favor. However, the plan received only 33 votes in the first debate and 29 in the second discussion.

If you vote partially, the congressmen will be able to apply amendments to the points indicated by the president before putting it to the vote again.

The ruling faction of the Citizen Action Party (PAC) contributed its votes for the approval of the bill. Even the head of the bench, Laura Guido, stated that she hopes that “very soon it will become a Law of the Republic.” In addition, he assured that they will provide support for that to happen.


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