Clara Akemi
Unlike some countries, the Brazilian legislation condemns the consumption of marijuana, whether for smoking or for medicinal purposes. Even so, currently the ministers of the Superior Court of Justice (STJ) have allowed three people to plant and cultivate hemp for medical use. Studies have shown that it has been effective in treating epilepsy, autism, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, chronic pain and cancer, among other illnesses.

Although the American health authority, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has approved cannabis sativa derivatives as medicines, the Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) does not classify these items as such, but it authorizes importing them with a medical prescription and may evaluate their manufacture in Brazil. So, the draft law for growing cannabis sativa has been assessed in the House of Representatives, exclusively for medical, veterinary, scientific and industrial purposes.

However, the bill imposes restrictions; For example, planting can only be carried out by legal entities such as patient associations or non-governmental organizations. Therefore, private cultivation as well as cigarettes, teas and other items derived from the plant will remain prohibited.

In the 90’s, there was a great deal of discussion about the legalization of smoking cannabis, when the Brazilian band, Planet Hemp, released the song "Legalize it right now!”. Besides denouncing the violence provoked by the drug dealers, consumers and the police, the lyrics criticize the lack of information about, and the marginalization of, the people who smoke it, who are often treated as crooks and dropouts.

Unfortunately, such prejudices based on social stigma and false truths still remain nowadays and the debate on approving the subject within the Brazilian legislative branch has been put off for decades. As far as cannabis is concerned, it seems that most of the stigma comes from word ‘Cannabis’ itself, whereas in reality it is another medicinal plant just like the others.
Created with