February 20th 2014
Brazil. South America's closely connected political leaders have watched Uruguays cannabis legalization program with great interest. Brazil's senate will now discuss the legalization and full state regulation of recreational and medical cannabis following a senate speech by Senator Cristovam Buarque. Buarque is a Professor and a popular figure in Brazil where he was elected senator in a landslide election victory in 2003. Currently he is Minister for Education.
The proposal is still in the early stages, Senator Buarque wants to encourage a formal debate which will turn the proposal into law during 2014-2015. Already their is a great deal of support both politically and publicly. Politically, South American politicians are collectively ready for a change in drug policies which cause far more damage than the drugs themselves.
South American appetite for political change has been accelerated by the ongoing cannabis legalizations at state level in the USA, where legal cannabis has completely removed criminal involvement in the cannabis supply chain. This happened overnight in Colorado, something that decades (and $Billions) spent fighting the 'war on drugs' has failed to achieve.
After tens of thousands of drug-related deaths each year in South America, there is a clear belief that the only beneficiaries of current drug laws are the criminal gangs who have been gifted a tax-free monopoly which gets larger each year. The Brazilian public have already added the necessary 20,000 e-votes required on an e-petition which initiates a political debate on the issue. Many Brazilian political observers feel that it is over-whelmingly likely that the political debate will result in legal cannabis for Brazil.
The translated text detailing the Senate proposal is here, translated from Senator Buarques website https://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=pt&u=https://www.cristovam.org.br/&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dcristovam%2Bbuarque%26biw%3D1040%26bih%3D617