There’s a rising green tide in Brazil


There’s a rising green tide in Brazil

16 January 2023
Felipe Neis Araujo
Talking Drugs

If you have been following TalkingDrugs’ cover of Brazilian drug policy in these last twenty-four months, you must be well acquainted with the current government’s efforts to hinder drug policy reform and, more specifically, with its disinformation campaign against medical cannabis. From publishing primers that claim medical cannabis does not exist, to blocking the medical cannabis bill from following to the senate for final approval, the soon-to-be former president Jair Bolsonaro, his cabinet ministers and allies have not spared any efforts to complicate access to this life-restoring medicine as much as possible.

The latest attempt has been led by the Federal Council of Medicine, which is ideologically aligned with the current government. Last October, the council banned physicians from prescribing CBD to adult patients, and restricted prescription to children and adolescents for a limited number of conditions.

The CBD ban lasted less than two weeks before backfiring by generating a lot of public criticism. Physicians who prescribe CBD publicly asserted that they would keep on prescribing the medicine despite the Federal Council’s authoritarian attempts to restrict it. In challenging the resolution, these physicians would act in civil disobedience but, nonetheless, would still be abiding by the Hippocratic Oath. Last year, Dr Carolina Nocetti, a physician who pioneered cannabis therapy in Brazil, told TalkingDrugs that it is within every physician's professional and ethical duty to relieve patients’ suffering; declining to prescribe cannabis for those who stand to benefit from the medicine goes against the profession’s ethical code.