Costa Rica congress approves legalization of marijuana for medicinal use

SAN JOSE, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Costa Rica's Congress on Tuesday approved the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes, despite opposition from conservative groups and President Carlos Alvarado who still needs to put his stamp of approval on the law.

The law allows for the production and processing of cannabis, but does not regulate its recreational use.

Independent lawmaker Zoila Volio, who backed the law and called the move a milestone, said it would not open the floodgates to increased drug use in Costa Rica.

"I trust that President Alvarado has understood that and will not veto it," said Volio.

If Alvarado vetoes the law, lawmakers would need to again vote on it and approve it with a qualified majority.

Reporting by Alvaro Murillo; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Lincoln Feast.

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