Brazil Court Rules Patients Can Grow Their Own Cannabis for Medical Purposes

A five-judge panel in Brazil unanimously ruled in favor of three patients’ rights to grow their own cannabis for medical purposes.

Full story after the jump.

Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice on Tuesday ruled that three patients can grow their own cannabis for medical purposes, the Associated Press reports. The decision is likely to be applied nationwide in similar cases. 

The five-judge panel unanimously determined that all three plaintiffs could cultivate their own cannabis and extract the oil for use in pain relief. In Brazil, medical cannabis products can only be imported and home cultivation is not permitted. Judge Rogério Schietti said the court had to act because the government refused to take a scientific stance on the issue.  

“The discourse against this possibility is moralistic. It often has a religious nature, based on dogmas, on false truths, stigmas. Let us stop this prejudice, this moralism that delays the development of this issue at the legislative, and many times clouds the minds of Brazilian judges.” — Schietti, in the opinion, via the AP

Judge Antonio Saldanha described the government’s delay on the issue as “a deliberately backward action toward obscurantism.” 

Home cultivation of cannabis for any purpose is opposed by President Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro, a far-right politician, is currently behind in opinion polls against former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who led Brazil from 2003-2010, the report says. An advisor to Lula da Silva told CNN Brazil that, if Lula da Silva is elected, a government plan on broad cannabis legalization would be prepared with input from citizens and allied political parties. 

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