Today, April 20 (4/20) is International Marijuana Day. A day marked by demonstrations around the world, to try to make people reflect on the decriminalization and regulation of all types of use of the plant, especially medicinal ones.
According to a recent study by Marijuana Business Daily, in the United States the projected goal for this year in the legal marijuana sector could exceed US$33 billion (R$155 billion). Which is clearly a great result for a country that is moving towards the end of prohibition in all its states.
And where is Brazil in this whole story? It lags way behind everyone else, taking the place of the famous rewind. Because, while several countries are starting to open up to the full potential of the legalized plant and receiving a positive return, Brazil continues to criminalize a plant with scientifically proven therapeutic potential and that could even boost the country's economy, which even has the ideal climate to grow it.
Furthermore, everyone who is engaged with the cause knows that cannabis can be legalized at any time, as long as the STF puts Extraordinary Appeal 635,659 on the agenda. However, here in Brazil the hole is deeper and we know that the criminalization of the plant comes from a structural racial prejudice, suffered for centuries by the people who were enslaved.
And if you don't know much about this story, we're going to tell you a little about it so you can stay tuned in the whole tape, ok?
The moment the Portuguese caravels landed on this big coastline of my God, marijuana's relationship with what would be the future of Brazil began. That's because the sails and rigging of the ships were made of hemp, the famous fiber taken from Cannabis Sativa L. A while later, the word was broken down to the anagram marijuana, which is the best known and used to date.
Cannabis is an exotic plant, that is, it was introduced into our fauna by enslaved black peoples and there are several records telling that they brought the first “makana” seeds hidden in their clothes, hair and cloth dolls to Brazil.
Little by little, the plant spread and was also cultivated by the native indigenous peoples. In the northeast, the habit of planting cannabis in the off-season was even created. At this point in the championship, marijuana was at its peak, being used freely with all its recreational potential, fiber manufacturing and even medicinally. Dona Rainha Carlota Joaquina was even fond of having a cup of tea to relax.
Behold, in 1924, at the II International Opium Conference, where delegates from more than 40 countries were gathered to discuss only the abuse of opium and coca, the Brazilian delegate Pedro José de Oliveira Pernambuco Filho together with the Egyptian representative made a point of including the marijuana in the debate. He stated at this meeting that marijuana was more dangerous than opium, causing a wave of mass criminalization to fall upon the herb.
In the mid-1930s in Brazil, the first arrests for illegal sale and possession of marijuana began to take place. Starting in Rio de Janeiro, extending to Pernambuco, Maranhão, Piauí, Alagoas and Bahia. And the people who were there growing their little plant and selling seedlings in the street markets, very well, began to suffer from police violence due to the attempt to ban the herb in the country.
And as was to be expected, the poorest social layer was the one that most suffered from the repression of the plant, among them blacks and northeasterners, who were exclusively associated with the misuse of weed as a drug and ended up being increasingly marginalized by society. .
The ban continues to this day in Brazil, a country that has one of the highest rates of violence in the world. And even though we know that violence is not caused by drugs, but by drug trafficking and the corrupt state itself, a large part of society continues to intrinsically associate drug use with people who are socially disadvantaged.
And even in the midst of all this chaotic scenario, here we are Brazilians doing that little way of getting together to continue burning one as a form of protest, whether there in the square with the crowd and a drink, gathering friends at home to smoke 1 and see that movie that everyone waited to see together stoned with a munchies on the side or giving that hidden drink before getting on the bus or subway. We always fight a little bit here and there for the cause, which can change the situation of different people in this country.