----- Original Message -----
From: "Alberto M. Giordano" firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Monday, November 15, 2004 6:56 AM
Subject: [narconews] Brazil's Lula to Sign Drug Decriminalization Decree on Nov. 24
November 15, 2004
Please Distribute Widely
Weeks after some punishing setbacks for the government of Brazilian President Lula da Silva, with his Worker's Party losing three of the flagship cities in the world for Harm Reduction policies toward drug users (São Paulo, Porto Alegre, and Curitiba), the Lula administration has finally decided to make the groundbreaking local policies go national.
According to a report in today's Folha de São Paulo (subscription only), Lula's government of has reached a "consensus" to step forward into a bold new era of drug policy: decriminalizing the drug user nationwide, and opening 250 safe drug use centers across the country during the year 2005.
Lula is expected to sign an executive decree on November 24, taking drug enforcement responsibilities away from police agencies, and placing the problems of drug use under the jurisdiction of the Health Ministry, which will be charged with supporting the safe drug-use centers and make Harm Reduction - a policy to reduce the harms associated with drug use - the law of the land.
Here is an excerpt from today's report from Brazil's largest daily newspaper:
"Policy proposal considers drug consumption as a public health problem, and no longer one for the police.
"The government wants to create centers for drug use
"By Luciana Constantino and Iuri Dantas - Folha de São Paulo, Brasília Bureau
"After a series of internal disagreements about drug policy, the federal government is preparing a realignment of national policy to define drug consumption as a public health problem, and not one for the police as it is today.
"There will be a presidential order creating rules for treating drug dependents, with emphasis on Harm Reduction..."
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