Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
“For those who want to make society a better place, drug legalization and regulation is a cause worth fighting for.”
Marina Martins Lattavo is a detective inspector at the 15th Police Station of Rio de Janeiro. She is a law school graduate and has served as a police officer since 2008.
Marina decided to become a police officer because she wanted to make society a better place. While working in investigations and arrests, she began to observe a discrepancy in the way people were treated when dealing with drug abuse. “Most police actions, in my experience, are based on the social status of the person who is involved with drugs rather than on any difference in their behavior,” she says. “Poor people that use drugs are systematically arrested as drug dealers, whereas rich and middle class people are seen as people with health problems.”
While searching for a way to make people aware that drug prohibition does not work, Marina discovered LEAP. She decided to take the opportunity to use her position as a law enforcer to educate people that drug abuse should be approached as a public-health issue. She explains, “For those who want to make society a better place, drug legalization and regulation is a cause worth fighting for.”