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Is Portugal preparing to legalise adult-use cannabis?

A new working group will explore the possibility of legalising cannabis for non-medical purposes.



The Portuguese Socialist Party intends to evaluate the use of cannabis for non-medical purposes. 

Via Cannareporter

One of Portugal’s major political parties is to establish a working group to explore the possibility of legalising cannabis for non-medical purposes, in collaboration with other parliamentary groups.

The regulation of recreational cannabis in Portugal may be imminent, following the European trend to review drug policies.

According to local media, Agência Lusa, the Portuguese Socialist Party (PS) – which currently holds a majority in the Portuguese government – intends to evaluate the use of cannabis for non-medical purposes. 

Leader of the PS parliamentary bench , Eurico Brilhante Dias, announced its intention to create a working group dedicated to exploring the recreational use of cannabis, during the party’s first meeting after the parliamentary summer break.

A draft resolution outlines the formation of this working group, which would operate within the parliament’s Health Committee. The PS leader argues that this is an issue that directly involves public health and, therefore, it is appropriate that the commission responsible for health be the host of this effort.

“We are going to study, we are going to delve deeper, we are going to listen to different experts in different areas to deepen our reflection,” Brilhante Dias told Lusa, emphasising the party’s commitment to conducting a complete and informed analysis. 

The objective is to complete this process by the end of the year, culminating in a conference focused on the non-medical use of cannabis.

Open to collaboration with other parliamentary groups

Brilhante Dias stressed that, after debating and delving deeper into the topic, the party will consider the possibility of presenting a legislative initiative. 

However, he also made it clear that the PS does not intend to follow this path alone. On the contrary, it is open to collaboration with other parliamentary groups.

“This is a path we want to take with the other parliamentary groups”, assured Brilhante Dias, highlighting the importance of a collaborative approach to such a complex and relevant topic. 

He also highlighted the need to involve Portuguese society in this process. Public opinion plays a crucial role in shaping policies related to the non-medical use of cannabis and the PS appears committed to promoting an open and inclusive discussion on the subject.

This PS movement occurs at a time when the legalisation of cannabis for recreational purposes is being discussed in various parts of the world and especially in Europe. 

The creation of this working group represents an important step in deepening the debate on the adult use of cannabis in Portugal, which has already been proposed to the Assembly of the Republic on several occasions and by various political quarters.

Cross-party consensus for reform?

In a further update since this article was published, a conference which took place on Tuesday 19 September in the Assembly of the Portuguese Republic, around the theme of Exposure to Cannabis in Adolescence and Health, appeared to bring about a cross-party consensus to move forward with the regulation of personal use of cannabis.

In the opening session of the debate, promoted by Citizen Initiative for the Responsible Regulation of Cannabis for Adults, all participants agreed that the regulation of adult use – and not prohibitionism – is the way forward, with an eye on the experiences of other countries.

This article was originally published by Cannareporter and is reprinted here with permission. 

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