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Half of São Paulo's Marijuana Aprehensions Are Equivalent to 2 Chocolate Bonbons

05/28/2018 - 12h37



Half of the marijuana busts in the state of São Paulo involves people who are carrying 40 grams at most. This amount is equivalent to two bonbons.

This amount corresponds, for example, to the maximum quantity that characterizes users in Uruguay, a country that legalized and regulated the sales of marijuana. In Portugal, which decriminalized drug use, carrying 25 grams indicates the person is a user, not a dealer.

In Colombia, the limit is 20 grams. Carrying more than this is interpreted as drug trafficking.

Brazil's Supreme Court began to discuss the decriminalization of possession for personal use in 2015, when it started to deal with the need to set objective criteria to establish the difference between drug users and traffickers. The court has not set a date to resume the debate.

The data on the São Paulo cases are from a new survey by Instituto Sou da Paz, which analyzed some 200,000 police reports of crimes connected to drugs between 2015 and 2017. The state is home to one in every four drug busts in the country.

The study aimed to shed light on the efficiency of the work done by the police. Does the corporation use too many resources to arrest small drug dealers and users?

"We discovered that the typical cases of drug trafficking involve very small amounts of drugs," says Bruno Langeani, 35, the manager of Instituto Sou da Paz and one of the heads of the study.

Those accused of drug trafficking often wait for trial in provisional arrest. If they are sentenced, they are imprisoned for at least five years.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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