Brazilian Minister of Culture says that he smoked marijuana until the age of 50

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

The Brazilian Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil, aged 62, said that he smoked marijuana until he was 50. In addition he defended the decriminalization of drug's consumption.

Gil took part in a press conference with journalists of Folha de São Paulo on Monday (May, 30). During the interview the Brazilian minister asked:"Why should [drugs] be forbidden?" He added that the drugs problem should be handled as a matter of public health. Gil had already defended the idea of decriminalization during a interview with Brazilian magazine Veja.

Gilberto Gil, and the drummer Chiquinho Azevedo, were arrested in 1976 in Florianópolis because they were carrying marijuana.

There is no consensus on decriminalization among Brazilians. Some people, like this Brazilian Anti-drugs website, believe that psychoactive drugs are dangerous and can lead to health problems, including chemical dependence.