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Brazil Supreme Court Rules Pro-Marijuana Marches Are Legal

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #689)
Politics & Advocacy

The Brazilian Supreme Court ruled June 15 that marches in favor of marijuana legalization can take place. The decision overturns various lower-court decisions that had banned them as "apology for drug use" and "support of drug trafficking."

Sao Paulo (image via Wikimedia)
The ruling came on a unanimous 8-0 vote. The court held that the marches must be allowed if authorities were to respect the rights of freedom of expression and the right to assemble. The marches are a way for citizens to exercise their rights, Justice Celso de Mello said.

"Nothing proves more harmful and dangerous than the desire of the state to repress freedom of expression, especially of ideas that the majority repudiate. Thought should always be free," De Mello said.

In 1997 police arrested members of the band Planet Hemp, immediately following a Sao Paulo show they had recorded for evidence. Police charged the band members with lyrics supporting the use of maconha (marijuana).

Pro-pot legalization marches associated with the Global Marijuana March the first weekend in May each year began in Brazil in Rio de Janeiro and have since popped up in other cities across the country. Beginning in 2008, local courts began banning them, arguing that they were a justification for drug use.

Just a month before this ruling, riot police in Sao Paulo attacked with tear gas and batons more than 1,000 marchers who had gathered despite a ban on the march. Next year, they won't have the excuse of illegality to repress the pot parade.

Brazilians didn't wait until next year to exercise their newfound freedoms. Demonstrators marched in 40 cities last weekend to demand marijuana legalization.

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.


angkory13 (not verified)

Brazil Beloved Motherland

Brazil Pátria Amada

This is why they says:

God is Brazilian

Sun, 06/19/2011 - 11:48am Permalink
Paul Pot (not verified)

The 8-0 vote represents a seriously marked shift in establishment thinking. They obviously had no hesitation in coming to that conclusion. I think we are looking at the world preparing itself for the end of prohibition.

Sun, 06/19/2011 - 2:22pm Permalink
Moonrider (not verified)

I am afraid that it may be the whole world EXCEPT for America -- Canada, uSofA (and maybe Mexico) -- where things appear to be going in the other direction. 

Sun, 06/19/2011 - 4:04pm Permalink
Jim-Z (not verified)

In reply to by Moonrider (not verified)

I live in the US..Mass.and we have made Marijuana Decriminalized..If we get caught with an OZ or less It's a $100.00 fine with no other charges like the registry taking our Licenses....

Sun, 06/19/2011 - 11:01pm Permalink
420 (not verified)

In reply to by Jim-Z (not verified)

 nahh, it depend where u r some state have a maximum of 5 years check out normal state laws

Mon, 06/20/2011 - 3:18am Permalink
Mike Smeltzer (not verified)

Today, I read about the Brazilian Supreme Court's decision to give freedom of expression to its people to express feelings about Marijuana. Whereas today I also heard that the American Supreme Court's decision was to suppress its people to express their feelings about sex discrimination in the workplace. In lieu of the corporate slant our court supported "Walmart" and by proxies every other corporation in America.

America, the land of the free? Free for whom? 

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 9:14am Permalink

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