FROM THE REPORT 20/08/2012 DRUGS AND DEMOCRACY
“Uma nova visão sobre o uso de entorpecentes” (rio de janeiro, Brazil)
“A new vision about narcotics use”
90,000 signatures supporting a new bill calling for the decriminalization of drugs for personal use is going to be analysed in the Brazilian government this week.
This new bill was created by lawyers and supported by the CBDD (Democracy and Drugs Brazilian Commission) and the Latin American Project of Therapeutic Community Research. Einardo Beninger, the coordinator of the latter and Catholic leader, described the new vision about drug addicts: “they are not criminals but people who need help” which conquest the more conservative society sectors as Evangelists or Catholics.
They expect the Congress to contemplate it around March-April 2013. The main objective is placing addiction issues in the Health Department (instead of Public Security), where a Committee comprising psychologists, doctors and social workers will propose alternative sentences.
The bill was inspired by the Portuguese Law, where the drug addicts are legally able to receive treatment and drug prevention measures, and harm reduction campaigns are developed. This law also sets up the legal amount for personal consumption -or enough for them for a period of ten days- as: marijuana, 25 grams; hashish, 5 grams; cocaine, 2 grams; heroin, 1 gram; LSD or ecstasy, 10 tablets.
Other of the main objectives is to define who is a consumer and who is a trafficker. A research carried out by Brasilia University and Rio de Janeiro University reveals that the majority of the people accused of drug trafficking (between 2006-2008), didn’t have any criminal record, had very small amounts of drugs, were alone and unarmed when they were caught by the police. The new Commitee will evaluate the individual and the circumstances before applying any sentence, which also will help to lighten the problem of overcrowded prisons in the country.
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