Skip to main content

Latin America: Brazilians Don't Say "Legalize It"

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #532)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

A solid majority of Brazilians consulted in a recent poll think marijuana smoking should remain a criminal offense, the Angus Reid Global Monitor reported Tuesday. The poll was done by Datafolha and published in the newspaper Folha de São Paulo.

Psicotropicus banner promoting marijuana (maconha) legalization
According to the polling data, 76% of respondents agreed that marijuana smoking should remain a crime, while 20% said it should not. The number wanting pot criminalized declined slightly from a similar 2006 poll, where 79% agreed, while the number of those saying it should not be a crime increased slightly, up from 18%.

In 2002, Brazilian lawmakers approved legislation that created alternative punishments, such as community service or drug treatment, for use of the drug. At the time, Brazil's National Antidrug Secretariat defended the decision. "Smoking marijuana is not a crime," said Paulo Roberto Uchôa, head of the secretariat. "A drug user is someone who needs counseling and information. The ones who traffic drugs are the criminals."

In 2005, Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil, an internationally recognized musician, went public with his marijuana habit, saying he had smoked for years. "I believe that drugs should be treated like pharmaceuticals, legalized, although under the same regulations and monitoring as medicines," he said then.

Now, if the Brazilian people can only catch up with their government. Usually, it's the other way around.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

... but didn't the US "order" all these countries to enact drug prohibition in the first place?

DOWN WITH THE USA and any country that sucks up to it!!

Wed, 04/23/2008 - 12:22pm Permalink

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.