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André Ventura says he wants to “Clean up all cannabis in Portugal”

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André Ventura, the well-known leader of the far-right Portuguese political party Chega, said he wants to “clean up all of Portugal's cannabis” and that he wants to do so using EU-GMP techniques. Chega is the only Portuguese party that is clearly against the legalization of cannabis in the country. 

Although this news is obviously a lie from April 1st, the truth is that in the last elections Chega considerably increased the number of deputies, from 12 to 50 parliamentary seats. This Parliamentary representation could make it increasingly difficult or delay a possible regulation of the adult use of cannabis in Portugal. What is not a lie is that, in comparison, the legalization of the recreational use of cannabis came into force today in Germany.

Chega and cannabis: Fiction or reality?

One of the slogans used by Chega's political campaign in the last legislative elections was “Clean Portugal”, in an allusion to immigrants, but which could also apply to cannabis, since Chega is openly against legalization. “A joint is the beginning of a life of drug addiction”, said one of its representatives in the Assembly of the Republic.

André Ventura, leader of Chega, admitted to having smoked cannabis in his youth. Photo: DR

Despite his public position, André Ventura admitted that he smoked cannabis in his youth, after some images of him from 2015 were made public, where he appears with a joint in his hand.

However, he rejected moral lessons: “The day that I or Chega receive moral lessons from the friends of marijuana and joints, Portugal will be lost. Get used to it, with us it will be different”, he said on Facebook, reacting to a highly serious accusation from the Bloco de Esquerda, whom he accused of being “friends of marijuana and joints” while also refusing “moral lessons”.

Num debate that took place in the Assembly of the Republic, in September last year, Pedro dos Santos Frazão, representing the Chega Parliamentary Group, made explicit the party's rejection of a possible regulation of cannabis.

To this end, the deputy quoted Nelson Carvalho, director of services at the Operational Unit for Addictive Behaviors and Dependencies in Madeira: “I am totally against the legalization of cannabis. In fact, it makes me a little confused because we are going through a highly restrictive tobacco policy and we are going through a highly liberalized cannabis policy. This is worrying.” The deputy also defended that legalization represents a public health problem, ending with the quote from the Madeiran psychologist that “legalization is a political issue and not a health issue”. The deputy also focused on the opinion coordinating the former National Mental Health Plan, which, according to the deputy, “did not believe that the legalization of recreational cannabis would bring benefits in the fight against drug addiction”.

Pedro Santos Frazão made it clear in the Assembly of the Republic that Chega is against the legalization of cannabis

Pedro Santos Frazão expressed that this issue is not a scientific problem, arguing that several scientists who came to the Assembly of the Republic are against the legalization of cannabis, and accuses the socialist party of approving “that is their desire for laws against what the experts.” Referring to his party, Frazão argued that “we have the street with us, we know that we have our families with us”, adding that “a joint is the beginning of a life of drug addiction”.

It may seem like a lie, but apart from the “cleaning” of cannabis, everything we write here is true.

 

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[Disclaimer: Please note that this text was originally written in Portuguese and is translated into English and other languages ​​using an automatic translator. Some words may differ from the original and typos or errors may occur in other languages.]

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