|Paula Rafiza/Canna Cerrado|
|Marijuana March, Brasília, Brazil, 2011|
Editor’s note: Brazilian activist Sergio Vidal, a good friend of Toke of the Town, is the author of Brazil’s very first cannabis grow book. Here, he shares with us the progress being made in his country in marijuana law reform.
Many marijuana marches will occur today, May 5, worldwide. In Brazil, the movement to legalize marijuana just started to gain power in recent years. The first march took place 10 years ago in Rio de Janeiro.
After many years of struggle and diversification of activism, the movement has grown significantly, in spite of repression. Only last year Brazil’s Supreme Court (STF) dismissed an action in respect of Marijuana Marches. The judges of the Supreme Court unanimously decided that marches and other demonstrations for change in laws and policies on drugs are absolutely legitimate and constitutional.
|Maya Sinclair/Canna Cerrado|
|Marijuana March, Brasília, 2011|
Before this decision, for many years the state justice and police enforcement had used force to stop the movement in different cities. To refresh your memory, in Sao Paulo, the country’s largest city in country and one of the largest in the world, last year the event was forbidden and repressed with police violence.
This year, 37 Brazilian cities are organizing protests and various other actions to remind citizens of the importance of cannabis reform. The movement is focusing on promotion of the trial in the Supreme Court action RE 635659 which will decide whether or not it is legitimate to criminalize possession of drugs for personal use, although no date is set for the trial.
Today, May 5, marches occur in Rio de Janeiro, Vitoria, Presidente Prudente and União da Vitória. In Brazil, marches occur on different days, so that activists can participate in the demonstration in many cities in one year, if they have interest and financial ability, of course. This year the final march is scheduled for June 9.
You can see the full schedule and more information (in Portuguese) on the site of Brazil Marijuana March: http://marchadamaconha.org/