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Brazil: Cannabis overthrows Minister of Citizenship

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The President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, yesterday fired the Minister of Citizenship, Osmar Terra. This situation is the outcome of a controversy over allegations by the Minister, in which he accused one of the patient associations of being linked to trafficking. Bolsonaro has now appointed Onyx Lorenzoni, from the Civil House, to replace Osmar Terra.

February 12, 2020 in Brazil ended with a feeling of relief for medical cannabis patient associations, after the resignation of Minister Osmar Terra, responsible for the Citizenship portfolio. The Minister was the protagonist of some controversial statements regarding cannabis for medical purposes.

Osmar Terra said in December, live on television, that an association of patients would be supplying traffickers and benefiting from the cultivation of illegal cannabis. The Patients Association Embrace Hope, from Paraíba, which was the target of the minister's statements, questioned him in court in the Federal Supreme Court (STF), triggering a wave of solidarity among the various associations in Brazil, pressuring the Minister to substantiate his allegations.

Additionally, Osmar Terra, who is a known opponent of the plant, lost the arm wrestling with the more technical faction of the Brazilian Government, namely the health regulator Anvisa, which recognized the therapeutic potential of cannabis and carried out the regulation of cannabis to medicinal purposes.

The political erosion resulting from the hiring a company suspected of embezzling 50 million of reais in the government of Michael Temer, as well as the divergence between Minister Terra and his colleague in the area of ​​Health, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, about the regulation of Medicinal Cannabis by Anvisa, were sufficient reasons for Planalto to stamp the letter of resignation from the Minister, who will take up diplomatic duties in the future.

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