The judgment on the decriminalization of possession of drugs for personal consumption was postponed again by the Federal Supreme Court (STF). The appeal on this subject was scheduled for this week, but was withdrawn from the plenary agenda.
The STF advisory reported that the President of the Court, Minister Rosa Weber, responsible for administering the agenda, is analyzing a new date to reschedule the trial. The discussion began at the Supreme Court eight years ago and was interrupted by a request for a review by then Minister Teori Zavascki, who died in 2017. Since then, the topic has not been discussed again in plenary.
Three ministers – Luís Roberto Barroso, Edson Fachin and Gilmar Mendes – had already voted in favor of decriminalizing drug possession, although the votes differed. Gilmar was the only one to vote for the decriminalization of possession of any drug, without specifying quantity, based on the right to privacy and the inviolability of the user’s personal life.
Fachin, in turn, suggested the decriminalization of marijuana possession only. Barroso also voted in that direction and proposed that the STF establish that carrying up to 25 grams of marijuana or growing up to six plants for personal consumption is not considered a crime.
The judgment in question concerns the possession and carrying of drugs for personal consumption, a low-level criminal offense that is provided for in Article 28 of the Drug Law (Law 11.343/2006). The established penalties are light: warning about the effects of drugs, providing services to the community and participation in programs or courses on drug use.
However, critics argue that this provision gives judges excessive discretion to classify those caught with drugs as a user or a dealer, since the law does not specify a specific amount to determine personal use.
Organizations defending the rights of black people, for example, claim that this leads to discrimination and exposes racism in court decisions, since most individuals arrested for trafficking are black, even though many of them have been caught with smaller amounts of drugs. than white defendants classified as users.
Even those who are classified as users face criminal prosecution and lose benefits, such as the status of first offender, which favors those who have better financial conditions to hire lawyers. These arguments are defended by proponents of decriminalization.
The subject began to be judged by the Court in 2015, through an appeal presented by the Public Defender of São Paulo, after a man was condemned to do two months of community service for having been caught with three grams of marijuana inside his cell, in the Diadema Provisional Detention Center.
Editing: Thalita Pires
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