Brazil top court majority says marijuana possession not a crime

By Thomson Reuters Jun 25, 2024 | 3:28 PM

BRASILIA (Reuters) – A majority of the justices on Brazil’s Supreme Court are in favor of decriminalizing the possession of marijuana for personal consumption, following a crucial vote on Tuesday.

“The position is clear that no user of any drug can be considered a criminal,” said Justice Dias Toffoli, the sixth judge on the 11-member top court to vote for decriminalization.

So far, three justices have opposed a decision to no longer make possession of cannabis a crime, including its most recent member, Cristiano Zanin, who was appointed by leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The consumption of marijuana in public will continue to be prohibited and cannabis remains illegal in Brazil.

Decriminalizing its use has been discussed by the Supreme Court since 2015 and the justices reached a majority at a time when politicians are proposing a constitutional ban on the use of illegal drugs.

A bill advancing in Congress, with the support of conservative and evangelical lawmakers, proposes amending the Constitution to make the use and possession of any kind of narcotics a criminal offense.

(Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Editing by Sandra Maler)