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Portugal: Leader of Socialist Youth challenges government to take advantage of its majority to legalize cannabis



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Miguel Costa Matos and António Costa during the XXIII National Congress of Socialist Youth. Photo: DR

The vice-president of the Parliamentary Group of the Socialist Party, Miguel Costa Matos, suggested to the Portuguese government that it take advantage of the absolute majority it holds in the Assembly of the Republic to legalize cannabis. Miguel Costa Matos spoke during the National Congress of Socialist Youth, which ended yesterday in Braga, and where he was re-elected to lead the JS.

The meetings of the XXIII National Congress of Socialist Youth (JS), which took place this weekend in Braga, ended yesterday, Sunday, with Miguel Costa Matos guaranteeing his continuity at the controls of the JS. Matos also made some recommendations to the Portuguese government, led by António Costa, namely regarding the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes.

For the Secretary General of the JS, the legalization of cannabis is precisely a “structuring” issue in the health area, refuting that it is a “fracturing” issue. The Vice-President of the Socialist Party Parliamentary Group went further and challenged the Portuguese Government to “take advantage of this absolute majority of the Socialist Party to advance [legalization]”.

10 members of the JS subscribe proposal for legalization

A proposal signed by 10 members of the JS, entitled “LEGALIZATION OF CANNABIS AS A MOTOR FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT”, was presented before the congress. The document, which frames the legalization of cannabis within the theme of “Dignity and Freedom”, proposes:

  • Legalization of cannabis for recreational cultivation and consumption;
  • Public investment in innovation in the cannabis industry, allowing the development and growth of the national industry at an early stage;
  • Creation of research and innovation incentive programs in the field of sustainable cannabis cultivation;
  • Enshrinement of the cannabis industry in the Circular Economy Action Plan;
  • Development of regulations and measures that allow quality control of cannabis production.

The document was mostly signed by members of Portalegre (João Correia, João Carrapiço Freira, Cristina Azeitona Narciso, Martim José Calisto Serafim Carvalho, Eduardo Garção Cordeiro, Lúcia Isabel da Costa Oliveira, Maria Carolina Barradas Nobre, Margarida Caldeira Parente). They were joined by Miguel Alexandre Carvalho Camões, from Elvas, Duarte Miguel Sias Vivas from Campo Maior.


A structuring issue in Public Health

For Miguel Costa Matos, legalization is structural in public health as it allows us to “control, regulate, supervise the substance that is now delivered to the streets. It is to legislate by evidence, it is to start from the examples of Canada, Uruguay, some states of the United States of America, it will be the case of Germany, it will be the case of Malta ”, he added.

“Ecology, progress and the left” will be the motto that will accompany the second candidacy of Miguel Costa Matos for the position of secretary general of the JS, after a first term in which he claims to have achieved several “legislative advances”.


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