The history of marihuana in Brazil

Elisaldo Araújo Carlini About the author

The present study describes of history of Cannabis sativa L. (marihuana) since the arrival in Brazil in the Portuguese discovers, in 1500. During the following centuries Cannabis cultivation was stimulated by the Portuguese Crown, which included sending seeds to Brazil; the medicinal use of Cannabis was also common, mostly during the second part of 19th century, being the Cigarros Índios (Cannabis cigarettes) imported from France, and advertised in Brazilian medical journals up to the first years of the 20th century. The repression against Cannabis use reached proportion only in the 20th century. This probably happened because the Brazilian representatives at the II International Conference on Opium and Coca/Cocaine flatly declared that in Brazil Cannabis was "more dangerous than opium". The condemnation of Cannabis in that Conference was seemingly extended up to the 1961 Single Convention of Narcotic Drugs, United Nations, in which Cannabis was considered a "particularly dangerous drug" and as such was included together with heroine in the Schedule IV of that Convention. Possibly, as a consequence the repression started seriously in the beginning of the 1930 decade; and according to the Brazilian law 6.368/1976, the recreational and medical uses of Cannabis products are prohibited. Such uses are criminal offenses and as such the users may face prison penalties. However a new law is under discussion in the Brazilian Congress. According to it the possession of a certain quantity of marihuana (and other drugs) is no longer a criminal offense and will be subject to administrative sanctions.

marihuana; forbidding; medicinal use; delta-9-THC

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