Master of Arts degree with a major in Sociology
Committee Chair Name
Joshua S. Meisel
Committee Chair Affiliation
HSU Faculty or Staff
Second Committee Member Name
Second Committee Member Affiliation
HSU Faculty or Staff
The socio-political history of cannabis in Costa Rica is one of external global influence; from colonization to independence; from neocolonialism to neoliberalism. Cannabis in Costa Rica has gone from failed agricultural crop to non-indigenous intoxicant import to controversial cultural mainstay. As Mexico influenced cannabis prohibition in the United States, so too has the U.S. approach to cannabis prohibition influenced Costa Rica. Costa Rica now grapples with attempting to reorient its general anti-cannabis status quo to one of regulated marketplace acceptance. My research findings indicate that cannabis originally entered Costa Rica in the late 19th century by way of imported labor for the United Fruit Company. Nationally illegalized in 1928 and widely consumed, cannabis was not given national attention until Western countercultural ideologies made their way to middle- and upper-class Costa Rican youth and professionals. A near decade long media campaign inscribed anti-cannabis propaganda into the greater status quo. With attitudes toward cannabis liberalizing globally, the Costa Rican state is attempting to establish pro-cannabis policy with or without public consent. Analysis of Costa Rican news media indicates that an active campaign to alter the public’s attitude toward cannabis has been taking place, but with mixed results. Factions within the Costa Rican government are at loggerheads over how to approach cannabis regulation and many continue to reinforce outdated misconceptions and untruths regarding cannabis. While the Costa Rican public has largely warmed to the ideas of industrial hemp production and cannabis for medicinal purposes, acceptance of recreational cannabis is unlikely in the near future.
Grady, Winston C., "The socio-political history of cannabis in Costa Rica" (2023). Cal Poly Humboldt theses and projects. 704.
Politics and Social Change Commons, Quantitative, Qualitative, Comparative, and Historical Methodologies Commons, Regional Sociology Commons, Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance Commons, Sociology of Culture Commons