The prohibitionist model for combatting drugs has run its course in Brazil, as shown by the violence associated with the drug traffic, illegal trade of adulterated substances, lost fiscal revenues, waste of public resources, diversion of attention from society’s real problems (in favor of a false solution), and lack of clinical studies on the efficacy and effectiveness of currently banned medicinal plants. However, the Brazilian Legislative Branch appears to be aware of the population’s evolving opinions on the issue. The National Senate and Chamber of Deputies recently launched a discussion on the regulation of marijuana in Brazil, urged by a citizens’ petition submitted in February 2014.
The website of the National Senate provides a mechanism for citizens’ participation called the e-Citizenship Portal, established by Ruling no. 3/2011 of the Senate Steering Board. Legislative Ideas is the link in this portal that offers citizens the possibility of petitioning for bills to create new laws, amend existing ones, or improve the National Constitution. The ideas are analyzed according to the portal’s terms of usage, verifying the wording’s consistency and coherence, absence of inappropriate, disparaging, or offensive terms, and non-violation of inalterable Constitutional provisions.
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