By Sergio Vidal
Anyone who has delved into the history of Brazil — not just the history talked about in schools — knows one fact: since the beginning of colonization until almost the 20th Century, many Brazilians citizens grow and use hemp in various regions of the country, including the government itself, through Hemp-fiber Real Trading, a state initiative that produced hemp for the Portuguese empire and their needs. In 1932, some politicians, ignoring the calls made at the time by doctors and pharmacists, totally banned marijuana in order to control the recreational use, and “regulate” medicinal and scientific uses. They did this without even taking into account the many people who suffer from lack of access to their medicines. Recently, at a special meeting, Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) put CBD in the C1 list. Now it is legal to prescribe, produce and distribute marijuana-based products, but only containing CBD, not THC or other cannabinoids. This measure discourages the production of plant extracts, and facilitates the way for production of synthetic CBD, which by “coincidence,” already has a patent filed by a Brazilian pharmaceutical company. This attitude affects millions of people who needs marijuana-based medicine with cannabinoids which will continue to be prohibited, and also those who do not have the money to afford the high costs of the CBD extracts.