Medicinal-grade cannabis attracts believers of all faiths to São Paulo's church

Father Ticão's course gathers almost two hundred people weekly in the parish hall.

"My house may lack rice and beans, but there will be no shortage of cannabis." Andreia Rodrigues, 43, does not care if someone is disturbed by this - even if it is the priest or the president. Sitting in front of a St. Benedict painting that covers the entire wall, she has more to worry about.

Mother of the twins Isadora and Isabela, 6 years old, she - who until this year had never had any contact with cannabis - waits for the day when she can have her plantation. It would be a giant step to improve the girls' lives, she says.

Isabela has cerebral palsy. Isadora, severe autism and epilepsy. Five months ago, the evangelical housewife was surprised when she heard about an oil extracted from the plant.

Also five months ago, for the first time since they were born, the sisters had a full night's sleep after taking the first few drops of the drug, a cannabidiol extract - a substance present in cannabis that has therapeutic, not psychoactive effects.

More importantly, she takes her cell phone out of her bag and opens a video in which Isabela, who is wheelchair-bound, begins to practice a few steps around the house. Isadora has fewer and fewer seizures. "Until April, my daughter could not drink water, she was unable to swallow, can you imagine that? I call it holy cannabis," she says.

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