The Brazilian drug laws have failed in all aspects. There is a huge number of substance users and abusers in Brazil, and year after year we witness thousands of casualties in the war on drugs all over the world. However, the current national public policy continues to treat addicts as criminals instead of sending them to get health treatment. The situation leads to orders of arresting users and low-level dealers and placing them in prisons dominated by gangs, which ends up strengthening the traffic dealer gangs eventually. Black people, the poor, women, especially young, are disproportionately incarcerated.
“The criminalization of drug use brings young people closer to crime, which is the opposite of our goal.”
- Rubem Cesar Fernandes, director of Viva Rio
VIVA RIO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR COORDINATING AN EXTENSIVE AND ACTIVE NETWORK AT THE BRAZILIAN COMMITTEE ON DRUGS AND DEMOCRACY (CBDD)
This committee, led by Viva Rio, supports the decriminalization of drugs in Brazil. It is composed of representatives from many areas, including politicians, lawyers, police officers, religious leaders, scientists and physicians. Today the organization aims to follow in the steps of Portugal, where drug users are treated as patients, not as criminals.