Left Bloc pushes for marijuana to be legal

A draft law to legalise marijuana for personal use has been presented by the Left Bloc (BE) and will be discussed by the Council of Ministers on April 23, it has been announced.

The news came after a short announcement from the council’s spokesperson Duarte Pacheco on Wednesday (April 8).

In February, BE spokesperson Catarina Martins said that the problem of the illegal drug market “has to be solved”.

“Nobody understands why they (soft drugs) are sold illegally, as they are less harmful to one’s health than alcohol, tobacco or caffeine,” she claimed.

A number of draft laws to legalise both so-called “soft drugs” and marijuana have already been put forward by the left-wing party since 2000.

BE, however, has been unable to convince other parties to support their plans.

In May 2013, a proposal put forward by BE to legalise cannabis was rejected – but received seven votes in favour from members of the Socialist Party (PS).

Justice Minister Paula Teixeira Cruz has also publically said she is pro-legalisation, saying that selling soft drugs in pharmacies keeps them off the streets and avoids “organised crime and money laundering”.