Brazil is on The Brink of Medical Cannabis Change

High Times

Here is one truism about the cannabis revolution. It has tended (so far) to be virulently opposed by the extreme right wing—and in every country. No matter what one thinks of John Boehner’s record on the drug war, not to mention his current position on the board of Acreage, the company slated to merge with Canopy Growth when federal reform of cannabis happens in the U.S.), he is a pragmatist, with a long history of taking cash from the pharma lobby in the U.S. Bill 399/15, legalizing the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes, and now in front of the Brazilian House, is about to change all of that. It will be voted on in late November and is expected to pass, going on to the Senate, where it is also expected to do so. The issue has been simmering at a federal level since this summer, with all kinds of politicking between proponents and those who oppose cannabis reform. It is especially politically delicate given the extreme anti-cannabis predilections of the current President Jair Bolsonaro. Indeed, as a way of placating naysayers, the idea is to also pass another law to regulate home education (a major political plank of the sitting president). Here is how to understand how delicate all of this is politically. Earlier this year, Bolsonaro used a national security law dating from the period when the country was governed under military rule to detain and or investigate critics of his poor handling of the country’s COVID pandemic. In March, he detained people who called him “genocidal” and displaying a cartoon depicting him as a Nazi. Common Sense (and the Agricultural Lobby) are Making a Difference Here is the first compelling reason why sitting politicians in both houses are willing to defy the president, no matter how…

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