South American Cannabis Reform

South American countries like Uruguay (became the first country to legalize in 2013), Peru, Chile and Colombia decriminalized the possession of marijuana. Now the largest country in South America is heading in the same direction as a supreme court judge calls for Brazil Marijuana Legalization.

Brazil Marijuana Legalization

Brazil recently passed decriminalization and some lawmakers in the country hope the momentum translates into marijuana legalization. In addition to the medical benefits, the Brazilian government acknowledges that the current drug war policy perpetuates gang control and violence. Even though many of these South American countries have decriminalized possession there is still a prison system problem because of unclear distinction between dealers and consumers.

Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Roberto Barroso spoke up last week about the failing 50 year drug war in his county. Barroso, a Yale graduate and constitutional law professor points out that the jails are filled with petty offenders and small time dealers.It’s notable that Barroso also suggests the legalization of cocaine to further the regulation on drugs, taking the power and money our of dangerous hands.

“Unlike the United States and Europe where the problem lies in the impact drugs have on consumers, in Brazil the problem lies in the power drug traffickers have over poor communities,”  Barroso told reporters from Reuters, “I can assure you it is only a matter of time. Either we legalize marijuana now or we do it in the future after we have spent billions and incarcerated thousands.”

Medical Marijuana in Brazil

Brazil is also opening the door to medical marijuana prescriptions as well, which are lacking despite the decriminalization in ’06 . HempMeds Brazil announced that the Brazilian government authorized a doctor’s prescription for an Alzheimer patient. The product, RSHO (Real Scientific Hash Oil) is a CBD oil, one of three of HempMeds Brazil’s products approved for importation to Brazil for medical prescriptions. HempMeds Brazil is a subsidiary of Medical Marijuana Inc., the first publicly traded cannabis company in the United States.

“I’m not sure if my proposal for legalization will work, but I’m sure that the war on drugs has not,” Barroso said. “We cannot just keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.”

Global Trends

Global trends in marijuana reform can be seen as Canada also gears up for legalization this spring and prohibition in US states dwindles as more and more states legalize medicinal use and recreational use of cannabis. Just this week there were revisions to the New Mexico medical marijuana legislation as well as introduction in Oklahoma.

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