At the opening of BE's debate on the bill for the legalization of cannabis for personal consumption, MP Fabian Figueiredo asked to be heard from the former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, who said it is time to realise "that drugs are infinitely more dangerous if left in the hands of criminals who have no concern for health and safety".
“The Left Block proposes that a participatory and inclusive process be opened, giving rise to a thoughtful, rigorous and effective law, which allows us to say in 20 years that we have taken a safe, necessary and responsible step in the evolution of the policy of drugs. It is this appeal that we make to all the benches”, defended the MP.
The deputy began by recalling that “20 years ago, the parliament had the wisdom to approve courageous and innovative measures to confront drug addiction, decriminalising drug use”, praising that this solution adopted in Portugal “is now studied and praised worldwide by different States and international institutions”.
“But 20 years ago, it was not consensual in the Assembly of the Republic. There was no lack of voices prophesying that we would become a narcostate. A deputy from the right, Paulo Portas, exclaimed at the time to the British newspaper The Times that they would land planes full of students in the Algarve 'to smoke marijuana and worse, knowing that we would not put them in jail'”, he recalled, adding that “sun, beach and drugs”, in the prophecy of Paulo Portas “would be the new motto of Turismo de Portugal”.
According to Fabian Figueiredo, despite the paradigm shift, “drug policy in Portugal remains incomplete and with an unresolved structural contradiction” since “consumers no longer face criminal proceedings, but their consumption remains dependent on a market illegal, a huge business that continues to be handed over to organised crime”.
“The Left Block have made this debate on the legalisation of cannabis for personal use because we understand that the time has come to turn this page. Many States have followed our pioneering spirit of 20 years ago, let us now apply the best international examples in the legalisation of cannabis”.
In the perspective of Fabian Figueiredo, "this legislative advance, sensible and prudent, can be made with a broad parliamentary consensus in the present legislature".
“In recent years, several countries have legalised the use of cannabis for personal consumption, such as Canada, Uruguay and several states and territories in the United States of America. We must look and learn from these examples. Practice is always the criterion of truth,” he appealed.