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A measure that would remove criminal penalties for growing, possessing and consuming cannabis for patients who receive prescriptions from doctors has been approved by a key senate committee in Brazil.

The Senate’s Social Affairs Committee passed the legislation, but it  must now pass in the Commission on Constitution and Justice before going to the full Senate for a vote. From there, if the Senate does approve, it must be reviewed by the Chamber of Deputies. 

The bill is coming at a questionable time for cannabis reform supporters, as Brazil’s president-elect Jair Bolsonaro is a strong opponent of marijuana legalization and has promised to enforce harsh anti-drug laws.

Sen. Marta Suplicy (MDB-SP) talked about the bill, “We cannot relegate the issue to mere political discussion,” she said, according to a translation. “More than anything, we need to empathize and put ourselves in the place of the other. In this way we can, as legislators, defend the true essence of health care, which is to mitigate human suffering.”

The bill was initiated after an online citizen-led petition that received about 119,000 votes.

Currently in Brazil marijuana possession is still punishable by community service and participation in a drug education program, regardless of whether cannabis is used for therapeutic purposes.

Source: https://www.marijuanamoment.net/brazilian-lawmakers-approve-medical-marijuana-bill/

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