Madeira asks Marcelo not to promulgate diploma on drug sanctioning regime

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The president of the parliament of Madeira, José Manuel Rodrigues, today asked the President of the Republic not to promulgate the decree-law on the sanctioning regime for the detention of drugs for consumption, alleging “violation of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic”.

In a letter sent to Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the president of the Legislative Assembly of Madeira warns that the diploma was approved on July 19 without “fulfilling the duty of hearing the self-government bodies of the autonomous regions”.

At stake is the decree that “clarifies the criminal regulatory framework on the possession of drugs for consumption regardless of quantity and establishes regular deadlines for updating regulatory standards”, including new psychoactive substances (synthetic drugs).

The final text was presented by the parliamentary committee on Constitutional Affairs, Rights, Freedoms and Guarantees, following two bills from the PSD and PS, and received in the hemicycle the votes in favor of PS, IL, BE, PCP, PAN and Livre, the vote against Chega and the abstention of PSD and Socialist deputies Maria da Luz Rosinha, Carlos Brás, Rui Lage, Fátima Fonseca, Catarina Lobo, Maria João Castro, Tiago Barbosa Ribeiro, António Faria and Joaquim Barreto.

In the letter sent to the President of the Republic, José Manuel Rodrigues stresses that the obligation to consult the bodies of self-government “is effective and is verified, from the outset, because it is a significantly sensitive diploma from the point of view of the political and legislative approach, whose matter needs continuous evaluation, as well as open and informed discussion, which could not leave out portions of the national territory with its own particularities”.

“The institutional cooperation of the Assembly of the Republic with the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, in matters concerning the region, with relevant and particular incidence in it, was neglected by it”, reinforces José Manuel Rodrigues, who holds the position of president of the regional parliament by appointment of the CDS-PP, within the framework of the coalition government with the PSD, established in 2019.

Rodrigues reiterates that, in the case of the decree on drug detention, the failure of the Assembly of the Republic to comply with the duty to hear the self-government bodies of the autonomous regions “leads to its unconstitutionality and illegality”.

The representative therefore requests that the diploma not be promulgated, on the grounds that it infringes the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, the Political-Administrative Statute of the Autonomous Region of Madeira and the law on the hearing of the Legislative Assembly.

In the debate in the Assembly of the Republic, which took place in early July, PSD and PS justified their diplomas on the decriminalization of synthetic drugs with the need to distinguish between traffickers and consumers, also warning of the impact that these new substances are having in the autonomous regions.

Before the approval of the final text, the director of the Operational Unit for the Intervention of Addictive Behaviors and Dependencies of Madeira (UCAD), Nelson Carvalho, warned of the importance of the law equating synthetic drugs with classic drugs without creating “dubious zones”.

Speaking to Lusa on July 4, the official explained that the PSD proposal aimed only to equate the new synthetic substances with classic drugs in terms of trafficking and consumption, with reference to quantities, while the PS project created “some gray areas”, stating that the acquisition and possession of substances in an amount necessary for average individual consumption during the period of 10 days constituted a “mere indication that the purpose may not be consumption”.

“Some gray areas are created, dubious, which can then give rise to individuals who have quantities above what is allowed can prove in court that it is for their consumption, when it was actually to traffic”, warned Nelson Carvalho.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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