Brazil Supreme Court decriminalizes cannabis possession

Posted on June 26th, 2024 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

RioThe Supreme Court of Brazil ruled June 25 to decriminalize possession of cannabis for personal use. The judges are yet to rule on the maximum quantity that may be considered for "personal use," and are yet to determine when the decision will take effect. The judges also ruled to order allocation of funds from the National Anti-Drug Fund to youth educational campaigns on the harms of drug use.

The ruling does not apply to sales, and the president of the court, Justice Luís Roberto Barroso, stressed that the decision does not normalize drug use.

Brazilian lawmakers enacted a law in 2006 intending to broaden the legal distinction between drug users and traffickers. However, because the law does not establish a minimum quantity of drugs to distinguish between users and traffickers, consumers have continued to be prosecuted as traffickers. Critics of the existing law assert that this legislative gap is one of the main causes of the sharp increase in Brazil's prison population over the last 20 years. It is today the country with the third-largest prison population in the world.

In Brazil, the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes is legal but strictly limited. Other Latin American nations that have decriminalized possession of cannabis include Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia. 

From Jurist, June 26. Used with permission.

Photo: Rio de Janeiro Marijuana March, May 10, 2014, via Wikimedia Commons

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