Portugal is moving towards legalizing cannabis

Portugal is moving towards legalizing cannabis

As part of a major shift in Portuguese political discourse, there is a growing consensus in favor of legalizing cannabis for adult use in Portugal.

During a debate in the Assembly of the Republic (AR), representatives of various political parties and organizations expressed their support for regulating cannabis rather than maintaining prohibitionist policies.

This development follows the recent announcement by the Socialist Party (PS), which currently has a majority in the Portuguese government, to form a new working group to discuss the legalization of personal use of cannabis.

The conference, titled “Cannabis Exposure and Health,” organized by the Treatment Activists Group (TAG), appears to indicate that a consensus is emerging in various quarters to move toward regulating personal use of cannabis.

It has been developed under the scientific coordination of Professor Teresa Sommaville, and has brought together national and international experts who, for example, have intervened in understanding and studying the risks associated with cannabis consumption, especially among adolescents.

Political views on cannabis regulation

Antonio Mallo de Abreu, head of the Health Committee and member of the Social Democratic Party, acknowledged the complexity of the cannabis issue. He stressed the importance of protecting young people from the potential harm of cannabis use while recognizing evolving international trends towards regulation. However, he also expressed concerns that legalization could inadvertently lead to increased cannabis use among minors, something that does not appear to exist abroad.

Carlos Alves, Vice President of Infarmed, the Portuguese Authority for Medicines and Health Products, stressed the need for Portugal to participate in discussions on non-medical consumption of cannabis, because it is a global topic. He stressed the importance of addressing the risks associated with cannabis use, especially mental illness, while recognizing the diversity of approaches taken by different countries.

See also  Activity slowed in Europe in June

João Goulão, of SICAD (Intervention Service for Addictive Behaviors and Dependence), has adopted a more flexible stance on regulating cannabis consumption among adults. He stressed the need to minimize the harmful effects of cannabis, particularly among adolescents, and suggested considering a broader regulatory model for various substances. Mr. Goulau stressed that while economic interests may play a role, the focus should be primarily on health and evidence-based decision-making.

Towards responsible regulation of cannabis

Luis Mindau, Director of the Citizens Initiative at GAT, moderated the discussions and highlighted the organization’s commitment to responsible, knowledge-based regulation and health protection. He noted the support of three university deans for cannabis regulation in a letter addressed to Parliament.

María de Lourdes Rodríguez, president of ISCTE and former Minister of Education, expressed her support for cannabis regulation, stressing the importance of basing policies on empirical facts rather than personal opinions. It also drew parallels with alcohol, highlighting the negative effects of alcohol consumption on health and behaviour.

Portugal is witnessing a major shift in its approach to cannabis regulation, with growing support for legalizing adult use. Discussions within the Assembly of the Republic indicate a desire to explore evidence-based approaches to cannabis policy that prioritize health and safety, especially among young people.

Although economic considerations are on the agenda, the primary goal remains to reduce potential risks associated with cannabis use, reflecting evolving international trends toward regulation rather than prohibition.

You May Also Like

About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *