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Effects of decriminalization in brazil

the_void

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
223
So dr carl hart says he supported decriminalization, but changed his mind after he visited brazil - where he says, more people ended up in jail for drugs, decriminalization turned into “if you are black you look like a drug dealer & go to jail”

How much truth is there to this statement? Can anybody weigh in?

Thanks!
 

Tramalala

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 20, 2021
Messages
119
So dr carl hart says he supported decriminalization, but changed his mind after he visited brazil - where he says, more people ended up in jail for drugs, decriminalization turned into “if you are black you look like a drug dealer & go to jail”

How much truth is there to this statement? Can anybody weigh in?

Thanks!
Can you link where he said this? Sounds a bit weird tbh... doesn't really sound like it got decriminalized if you go to jail for it still ;)
 

the_void

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
223
Can you link where he said this? Sounds a bit weird tbh... doesn't really sound like it got decriminalized if you go to jail for it still ;)

Excerpt from drug use for grown ups published jan 2021

“. Over the course of the day, I was told that all drugs had been decriminalized in Brazil since 2006. This surprised me. I assumed that Brazil blindly followed the United States when it came to drug policy. Wrong. According to Brazilian law, unlike U.S. law, anyone caught possessing substances in amounts consistent with personal use should not be subjected to incarceration. Instead, the person might receive a warning and be required to perform community service or attend a drug-education program or course. Those caught selling banned drugs, however, were still subjected to harsh criminal sanctions. The morning after the Marijuana March, I met with Julita in a restaurant in Leblon, an upscale neighborhood near Ipanema Beach, to discuss the schedule of events she had prepared for me. It looked exhausting, daunting even. I was to travel across three states while giving multiple lectures and media interviews, making a number of site visits, and holding meetings with interested parties in each state—all in the course of about a week. I got tired simply looking at the itinerary. This was typical Julita—detail oriented, even if it kills her, and efficient, even if it kills you. I was too embarrassed to express any apprehension I felt about the formidable task she’d laid out for me. I just had to grin and bear it. I did, however, say something about what I had learned on the previous day at the march. I heaped praise on Brazilian lawmakers for passing such a progressive drug law. “My Deearrrr,” Julita said very slowly in a tender tone. “Oh shit,” I thought. I realized my mistake even before she opened her mouth. Praising politicians is a tricky endeavor because most will eventually disappoint you, especially when it comes to drug policy. But it was too late. The deed was done. Julita was now in the middle of telling me something of great importance, and there was no stopping her. Locking her kind but intense eyes firmly on mine, she recited Brazilian composer Antônio Carlos Jobim’s famous quip: “Brazil isn’t for beginners.” My education on Brazil began at that moment. Julita spent the next thirty minutes schooling me, practically nonstop, on how drug policy really plays out in her country. It was certainly true that under the current law, personal drug use is not meant to be punished by incarceration, but it remains a criminal offense. So, in effect, the law is depenalization, not decriminalization. Equally important, the law does not quantify personal use. It does not define drug amounts in terms of how much is considered personal use versus how much is considered trafficking. This critical factor is determined first by street-level police officers, who decide who is arrested and who is not. Arrestees, regardless of the drug quantity they possess, are eventually tried in criminal court as drug sellers. Sure, the judge can ultimately rule that the defendant is not a trafficker, after taking into account the amount of drug possessed, the person’s legal history, and other mitigating factors. But that ruling is almost never made, especially if the defendant is black and poor. Another less frequently discussed feature of the Brazilian drug law is that it increased the minimum amount of prison time for trafficking violations from three to five years. To cut to the chase, Brazil’s supposedly progressive drug law has actually dramatically increased the number of individuals in jail for drug trafficking. For example, drug arrests now account for nearly one-third of all arrests, whereas in 2006, when the law was passed, drug arrests accounted for about 10 percent of arrests. Furthermore, evidence shows that most individuals convicted of drug trafficking are unarmed first-time offenders with small amounts of drugs. And judging from prison population demographics, African-Brazilians are bearing the brunt of these arrests. While they make up about half the general population, they account for 75 percent of prison inmates.2 The message seems to be that if you’re white, you’re a user. You can go home. But if you’re black, you’re a trafficker. You must go to jail. And you can remain there for several months without ever appearing before a judge. “The law is only as good—or as fair—as those interpreting it,” Julita said, the frustration palpable in her voice. She told me to take a look around the restaurant. “How many black people do you see?” she asked. I was the only one. Toni Morrison’s extraordinary novel Paradise came to mind. In it, the author noted that paradise is “defined by who’s not there, by the people who are not allowed in.”3 In August 2015, I had an experience that made this point personal. By then, I had visited Brazil several times, and I had learned quite a bit about the ongoing discrimination against the poor, especially those defined as black Brazilians. “
 

Pickledlemons

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 4, 2017
Messages
1,138
Location
BC, Canada
So dr carl hart says he supported decriminalization, but changed his mind after he visited brazil - where he says, more people ended up in jail for drugs, decriminalization turned into “if you are black you look like a drug dealer & go to jail”

How much truth is there to this statement? Can anybody weigh in?

Thanks!

Sounds like a good argument for full legalization.
 

the_void

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
223
Sounds like a good argument for full legalization.

Right, thats what hart is saying.

Decrim has worked in some parts of the world though - perhaps the brazil situation sheds some insight on what CAN happen and what NOT to do

Im trying to find some backup (or disputes ) of what hart is saying happened in brazil

Any Brazilians here to chip in?
 
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