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Brazilian court authorizes medical cannabis cultivation for the first time

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice (STJ) has authorized, for the first time, three people to grow cannabis for medical treatment in a decision that could set a precedent for similar cases in the South American country.

The Sixth Chamber of the STJ has analyzed two appeals presented by three people who use a cannabis-based medicine with a medical prescription and has ruled in favor of their cultivation of the plant without it being considered a crime, according to the Brazilian newspaper ‘O Globo’.

Judge Rogério Schietti of the STJ lamented the lack of legislation on the matter and argued that it involves issues of “public health” and “people’s dignity” before criticizing the “refusal of the State” to “regulate this issue”.

Uruguay is the only South American country where marijuana consumption is legal, although, in May, Argentina passed a law to regularize the medical use of cannabis.
Uruguay is the only South American country where marijuana consumption is legal, although, in May, Argentina passed a law to regularize the medical use of cannabis. (Photo: internet reproduction)

“The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) has transferred the responsibility to the Ministry of Health, which has exempted itself by saying that it is Anvisa’s responsibility, and thus thousands of Brazilian families remain at the mercy of omission, inertia, and disregard for something that, I repeat, involves the health and well-being of many Brazilians, most of them unable to afford to import this medication,” he said.

Along these lines, Judge Sebastião Reis pointed out that the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes has already been approved in other countries, and he called for “not falling into a state of inertia”. “This silence cannot occur; we have to face this issue and discuss it,” he argued.

The ruling comes just days after the country was the scene of protests in favor of the approval of the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. Uruguay is the only South American country where marijuana consumption is legal, although, in May, Argentina passed a law to regularize the medical use of cannabis.

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