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Brazilian Minister Rules Out Plans on Marijuana Legalization

© Fotolia / HamikMarijuana plant
Marijuana plant - Sputnik International
Despite previous rumors that Brazil might legalize marijuana, the country's Minister of Justice says decriminalization is not part of the government’s plans.

BUENOS AIRES, January 11 (Sputnik) — Brazilian authorities have no plans to follow Uruguay's example of partial legalization of marijuana, Brazilian Minister of Justice Jose Eduardo Cardozo said Sunday.

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“Legalization of drugs is not a part of government’s plans,” Cardozo said in an interview with O Globo newspaper.

Those who proposed the draft law argue that liberalization of law regarding drugs will help reduce the number of people in overcrowded Brazilian jails, where the majority is convicted for drug trafficking.

However, Cardozo is sure that the jail overpopulation problem should be solved by building new jails instead of legalizing cannabis.

Debates about possible legalization of marijuana began in Brazil back in 2013, when the neighboring Uruguay introduced new legislation, under which the country's citizens are allowed to grow marijuana themselves in restricted amounts, and to buy it in pharmacies (under 40 grams monthly). Marijuana, produced under state control, will appear on pharmacies’ shelves in Uruguay in 2015.

The United States have also eased laws concerning cannabis. The recreational use of the drug is currently legal only in the states of Washington and Colorado, with Alaska and Oregon to follow in February 2015 and 2016. Over half of the country’s 50 states have decriminalized marijuana possession or legalized it for medical use with a prescription.

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