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Brazil: Supreme Court Decriminalizes Marijuana Use

Brazil: Supreme Court Decriminalizes Marijuana Use

40 grams of marijuana is the maximum amount a person can purchase, store, deposit or be considered a consumer.

Courtesy | The STF clarified the criteria for authorities to distinguish between consumers and traffickers

Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court (STF) decriminalized possession of marijuana for personal consumption and established the maximum amount of cannabis a person can carry to be considered a user and not a trafficker, the judicial body said in a statement.

Most ministers spoke in favor of decriminalizing possession of marijuana for personal consumption so that this behavior could be punished administratively and not as a criminal offense.

Brazil’s highest judiciary ruled that 40 grams of marijuana would be the maximum amount a person can buy, store, deposit or be considered a consumer.

The decision states that administrative measures will include: a warning about the effects of marijuana and an obligation to attend a program or course on the subject. Instead, he will have no criminal record.

The STF also determined that a person carrying 40 grams of marijuana or less can be arrested if they observe elements that make them suspect that they are a smuggler. For example, it contains criteria for packaging, different products, weight or commercial records.

According to the resolution, police must “fully justify” their reasons for rebutting the presumption that a person is in possession of marijuana for consumption only.

In another scenario, a person who finds more than 40 grams of cannabis can avoid being fined if they provide proof that they are only a user.

The STF stressed that the decision does not mean legalization of drug abuse, but rather a correction of criteria that seeks to improve the fight against drug trafficking and care for drug addicts.

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Luis Roberto Barroso, ministerial head of the STF, said during Wednesday’s session: “We are discussing what is the best way to solve this problem and minimize its effects on society. And we find that not setting a discrete amount is bad public policy.

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