By Dalton Rosario
Last Wednesday the Brazilian Senate’s Social Affairs Committee voted favorably for the implementation of medical cannabis legalization based upon popular public demand. An online petition initiated by Brazilian citizens secured 119,000 signatures in favor of decriminalization efforts so that practicing physicians could lawfully prescribe patients medical cannabis to treat a myriad of conditions and disorders.
This massive online movement reflects country-wide appeal for pro-cannabis legislation, that was first initiated earlier this year by Paulo Teixeira, Federal Deputy of Brazil, in the form of Proposition #PL10549; regulating the cultivation, retail distribution and selling of legal cannabis.
If medicinal cannabis is passed by the Commission on Constitution and Justice, and then approved by the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, it would mark a major victory for Brazil’s agricultural industry domestically and abroad. Not only does Brazil host some of the world’s richest lands - famous for their exports of soybeans, iron ore, crude petroleum and raw sugar - but with their geographical landmass rivaling the size of the United States, adding cannabis to their commodities list of natural resources would stimulate their economy in current times of hardship and political turbulence by boosting their presence and influence onto emerging global markets.