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marijuana
(04/14/08) -

Brazil Still Favours Marijuana Crime Laws

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The vast majority of people in Brazil believe smoking marijuana should remain a crime, according to a poll by Datafolha published in Folha de Sao Paulo. 76 per cent of respondents agree with this view, down three points since August 2006.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The vast majority of people in Brazil believe smoking marijuana should remain a crime, according to a poll by Datafolha published in Folha de Sao Paulo. 76 per cent of respondents agree with this view, down three points since August 2006.

In January 2002, lawmakers in Brazil approved legislation that sets alternative punishments—such as community service and rehabilitation—for the recreational use of drugs. At the time, Paulo Roberto Uchoa, head of Brazil’s National Antidrug Secretariat, defended the decision, saying, "Smoking marijuana is not a crime. (…) A drug user is someone who needs counselling and information. The ones who traffic drugs are the criminals."

Luis Inacio Lula da Silva of the Worker’s Party (PT) won the October 2002 presidential election with 61 per cent of the vote in a run-off vote. In October 2006, he earned a new four-year term with 60.8 per cent of the vote in the second round of voting. Lula is ineligible for a third consecutive term in office.

In June 2005, Brazilian culture minister Gilberto Gil revealed that he smoked marijuana for years, adding, "I believe that drugs should be treated like pharmaceuticals, legalized, although under the same regulations and monitoring as medicines."

Polling Data

Do you think smoking marijuana should remain a crime?

 

Mar. 2008

Aug. 2006

Yes

76%

79%

No

20%

18%

Not sure

3%

2%

Source: Datafolha / Folha de Sao Paulo
Methodology: Interviews with 4,044 Brazilian adults, conducted from Mar. 25 and Mar. 27, 2008. Margin of error is 2 per cent.