COSTA RICA NEWS – A study by the Adolescents’ Clinic at the National Children’s Hospital conducted among 3,373 high school students in the Greater Metropolitan Area of San José shows that the number of marijuana users increased from 1% in 1991 to 10% in 2006 and 15% last year, according to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), also known as the Caja.

marijuana-use-youngThe study also shows that marijuana is seen in many sectors of society as natural and harmless.

The study also found a slight drop in consumption of other substances including alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs, with alcohol remaining as the favorite substance for abuse among high school students.

Active alcohol consumption decreased from 21% in 2009 to 20 percent in 2013, and 53% of surveyed students reported drinking an alcoholic beverage at least once during their life.

In addition, six percent acknowledged consumption of other drugs, including pills, synthetic drugs and hallucinogenic mushrooms. Of that number, 11 percent admitted they had experimented with heroin.

Cannabis is illegal in Costa Rica, but there is a high tolerance of smoking marijuana throughout the country, a decriminalization system is implemented de facto since police officers do not detain people carrying enough for only personal consumption, yet no amount has been defined as a minimum for possession.

According to MarijuanaTravels.com, in Costa Rica you can pay anywhere from fifty to eighty dollars “for very decent weed.” and

Sources: CRHoy; Diario Extra, InfoSurHoy