The campaign “Drug Law: it’s time to change” will collect 1 million signatures to present Brazil’s National Congress with a bill calling for more equitable and effective drug legislation in the country.

Law 11.343/2006, which regulates Brazil’s drug policy, makes no clear distinction between users and dealers. Since its implementation, the number of people imprisoned for carrying drugs has doubled. This lack of clarity is resulting in the arrest of thousands of people who are
not drug dealers, but users. Most of these prisoners have never committed any other crimes, have no ties to organized crime and were only carrying small quantities of drugs when arrested.

Some proposals that will be presented in the new Bill include: moving the issue of drugs from the realm of Public Security to that of Health and Social Assistance; decriminalizing the drug user and establishing clear differences between user and dealer; and ensuring quality
treatment for drug addicts, involving support networks and families to offer comprehensive care.

The new Bill was prepared by a technical team composed of the following legal experts: Pedro Abramovay, law professor at Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) and coordinator of the Banco de Injustiças (Injustice Bank); Cristiano Maronna, board member of the Brazilian Institute of Criminal Sciences (IBCCRIM); Luciana Boiteux Rodrigues, criminal law professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ); Daniel Igescu, public defender of the State of Bahia and professor of the Bahian Law School; and Luiz Guilherme Mendes de Paiva, former advisor to the presidency of the Supreme Court.

The campaign is signed by the Brazilian Commission on Drugs and Democracy (CBDD) and has the support of Viva Rio. The following organizations are also involved in the campaign: the National Association of public defenders (Anadep), the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), the State Health Department, the Global Commission on Drug policies and AVAAZ‐the world in action.

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