Brazil Launches Campaign to Decriminalize Drug Use

A host of academic, legal, health, political and social figures are joining together to back a campaign to decriminalise drug use in Brazil, as tens of thousands of consumers uninvolved in the drug trade are currently jailed.

The “Drug Law: It’s Time to Change” campaign is an initiative launched by the Brazilian Commission on Drugs and Democracy, which aims to gather one million signatures in support of a bill that will be introduced in congress during the second half of 2013.

Many movie and television celebrities, along with major political personalities, including former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1995-2003), have rallied behind this campaign that seeks to amend the country’s anti-drug policy act (Law 11,343/2006), which makes no distinction between users and dealers.

“I bought half a gramme of marijuana for my own use and I got caught. Because I live in a favela (shantytown), they threw me in jail like a drug dealer… In Brazil you can’t go out on bail while you wait for your trial, so I was in jail for months,” popular TV star Felipe Camargo says in one of the campaign spots aired since Monday, Jul. 9. While Camargo is playing a part, he’s conveying an actual case experienced by a young worker.

– Read the entire article at Inter Press Service.