Translated and adapted by André Kiepper, from the original article | For the survey, please click here

The debate over the regulation of marijuana in Brazil is gaining strength at the Federal Senate after a popular suggestion was received online, by the e-Citizen Portal, at the beginning of February 2014. As more than 20.000 people expressed support for the proposal in just 4 days, it was then sent for examination to the Senate’s Commission on Human Rights and Participative Legislation (CDH). To contribute to the debate on this controversial issue, DataSenado conducted an opinion poll on the subject this month.

1,106 people aged 16 and over were interviewed by phone in 27 states. The selection of participants was made using the method of stratified random sampling – the number of people interviewed is proportional to the number of residents in each state, based on the Brazilian Institute for Statistics and Geography. Telephone numbers were randomly selected and interviews occurred between June, 6 and July, 7.

The survey revealed that 57% of Brazilians are in favor of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, 9% of whom declared themselves in favor of regulating it for all purposes. According to 42% of Brazilians, the substance should remain completely prohibited, as it is the case today.

When asked if they knew someone who smokes or has smoked pot, 78% of respondents said yes.But when asked if they smoked or had smoked marijuana in the past, 93% said no. 82% of Brazilians still believe marijuana is a gateway drug. 77% think marijuana consumption would increase being regulated.

Trafficking

32% believe that drug trafficking would decrease after regulation.

Tobacco

50% consider marijuana is as harmful to health as smoking tobacco; 22% believe that the herb is less harmful to health than tobacco; and 25% think it is more harmful than smoking tobacco.

Alcohol

59% think marijuana is as harmful to health as alcohol; 17% believe that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol; and 22% think it is more harmful than alcohol.

Religion

72% of those who have no religion are in favor of regulating marijuana for medical use, while only 44% of Protestants support it.