In contrast to other Central American countries, the possession of drugs for immediate personal use is not a criminal offence in Costa Rica. In August 2013 the cultivation, manufacture, transport and trafficking of drugs have all been made a criminal offence under the same article, which provides for a prison sentence of between 8 and 15 years without making any distinction between the offences. The government of Costa Rica supports the launch of an open international debate on the issue, but has declared itself against decriminalisation.
Although the legislative trend in Colombia has tended towards the criminalization of possession and consumption of psychoactive substances, decriminalization prevailed when it comes to jurisprudence. In addition, while the government of former President Álvaro Uribe Vélez (2002-2010) insisted on prohibiting, persecuting and punishing drug consumption through legislative and judicial channels, the country’s health sector, influenced by more progressive trends for dealing with consumption, made important progress in the areas of risk and harm reduction.
We have to talk to, learn from and support the indigenous movements which have inserted ecosocialist and degrowth like concepts into the formal constitutions, as in the states of Bolivia and Ecuadorian.
Daniel Chavez, a TNI fellow, specialises in left politics, state companies and public services. He is an active contributor of the Municipal Services Project (MSP) research network, has contributed to Alternatives to Privatization: Public Options for Essential Services in the Global South (Routledge, 2012) and has co-edited The Reinvention of the State: Public Enterprises and Development in...