The understanding of law professionals from the Federal District about drug users under the current new law

Luiza Barros Santoucy Maria Inês Gandolfo Conceição Maria Fátima Olivier Sudbrack About the authors

Drugs users have been receiving contradictory treatments thereby promoting their stigma besides hiding and limiting the understanding of the phenomenon. The objective of this study was to investigate how the District Attorneys and Judges are considering and applying the new law which legislates on the conduct of drug use in Brazil. Eleven Law professionals from the Federal District participated in semi-structured interviews divided in three areas: the point of view in relation to the user of drugs, how the law is being applied, and how they conceive the work of the multidisciplinary teams. The results showed very heterogeneous positions, showing that there is no unanimity on the understanding of the new law. For some, there is a shared belief that drugs abuse is a public health problem, for others, it is believed that the user must receive a punishment for his/her illegal act. An effective and efficient interdisciplinary dialogue should allow a reflective action aiming at favoring those who come to justice.

Criminal psychology; Systems theory; Drugs legislation

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