By Avinash Tharoor
The Social Democratic Party (PSD), the largest party in the Portuguese Parliament, has endorsed the legal regulation of cannabis. TalkingDrugs spoke with the MP behind the motion.
The PSD holds more parliamentary seats than any other party, but remains in opposition due to the ruling Socialist Party’s alliance with several smaller left-wing parties. At the PSD’s national conference on February 17, a majority of party members voted in favour of a motion for legally regulating the drug “from production to distribution to sale”. As TalkingDrugs reported in February, the motion was put forward by former MP Dr André Almeida and Dr Ricardo Baptista Leite, a current MP and member of the parliamentary Health Committee.
Supporting the legal regulation of cannabis for non-medical purposes is a relatively fringe stance in European politics; there is, as yet, no country in the continent which has legalised the commercial production and sale of the drug. Baptista Leite told TalkingDrugs that he was initially uncertain about supporting legalisation due to the drug’s potential risks, but then came to believe that legal regulation was necessary because of these potential risks.