Cannabis legalization in Italy: a bill presented by the 5Star Movement

Legalizzazione Cannabis in Italia: presentato un disegno di legge dal Movimento 5Stelle

Cannabis legalization in Italy: a bill presented by the 5Star Movement

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After the work done in the last legislature, by the parliamentary intergroup , Matteo Mantero , senator of the M5s, has filed a bill in the Senate to legalize the cultivation, processing and sale of cannabis and its derivatives.

"Today we are faced with a situation in which criminal organizations control the production, transformation and sale of all types of prohibited substances, processors and intermediaries" declared Mantero. Even the National Anti-Mafia Directorate in both 2016 and 2017, in its annual report, declared itself " in favor of legalization, taking note of the failure of prohibitionist policies on the basis of numbers, facts, investigations and trials in our possession ".

"Even in Italy the legalization of cannabis - states the five-star senator - would allow a saving in costs linked to the criminal repression of the phenomenon and would reabsorb a good part of the criminal profits of the black market, which let us remember in the world the overall drug trafficking business according to estimates is stands at 560 billion euros per year, while in Italy it is estimated at around 30 billion euros, equal to around 2% of the national GDP , more than half of the market (around 15 billion) is made up of marijuana and its derivatives According to DNA, these numbers "confirm that the fight against drug trafficking remains decisive". So for Matteo Mantero, those who are against legalization, in a certain way, are defending the interests of organized crime, given that the existing black market. “Many agree that it is senseless to prosecute those who smoke a joint, given that marijuana is not as harmful as alcohol and tobacco. Indeed, according to research published in the journal Scientific Reports, an affiliate of Nature, alcohol has a danger index 114 times higher than cannabis , followed by heroin, cocaine and tobacco”, explains the senator. Mantero highlights how " over 70 percent of Italians would agree " to legalization. The senator also underlines that "with the cancellation of the crime of production and sale of soft drugs, which represents more than half of the drug market, almost 800 million euros would be saved, following the lower costs for the judiciary, prisons and those relating to public order and security. Economic and financial resources that could be moved to combating hard drugs, such as cocaine, heroin and synthetic drugs, which are truly dangerous."


Casting an eye overseas, for example, to Canada which has completely legalized ( paying off the entire state debt in just a few days), to the United States , which after the first experiments, has seen more and more states proceed towards the production and sale of marijuana for recreational, such as Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska and the District of Columbia and also Europe is no exception, in addition to the renowned experience of Amsterdam, recently Spain has also seen the progressive registration of the so-called "Cannabis Clubs", to arrive up to the East, with South Korea which has opened up to medical use.

"Allowing the self-production of cannabis as well as regulating the production and sale of so-called "light" inflorescences and allowing their use for recreational purposes - continues Mantero - would constitute an important protection of public health, as it would shift consumption of cannabis, from the illegal market of products potentially harmful to health, to products instead grown with respect for the user's health ."

"On the other hand, - he concludes - the experience of the states that have legally regulated the marijuana market demonstrates that the number of consumers has not grown at all, nor has the social and health impact directly or indirectly connected to it increased. consumption. Only legal income and tax revenue from the legalized market grew."

But essentially, what does the bill presented provide?

- allow, under certain conditions, the cultivation of cannabis , individually ( up to 3 plants ) or in association (up to 30 people and after communication to the Prefecture). To start cultivation, either individually or in association, it will be sufficient to communicate it to the competent prefecture, without receiving prior authorization;

- provide for the legality of possession of cannabis within certain quantities ( 15 grams at home and 5 grams outside ), as well as correcting the law on inflorescences, which are now sold in the so-called "light cannabis shops" for technical use, providing for the possibility of be sold for food or herbal use (they will be subject to all those controls due and linked to that type of activity) and raising the percentage of THC they can contain up to 1%.

- The free transfer of a modest quantity of cannabis (less than one gram) if grown personally or in association has also been decriminalised. Violation of the law, specifies the provision, will be considered an 'administrative offence' and sanctioned with a sum ranging from 100 to 1000 euros. The earnings from the fines, however, as stated in article 6, will be reinvested for training, educational, preventive, curative and rehabilitative interventions, implemented by educational and healthcare institutions to stem the phenomenon of drug addiction ;

- regulate illicit conduct by providing for a differentiation of punishment in relation to the type of substances (hard drugs, soft drugs).

Should we begin to legislate this issue in a serious manner, finally also in Italy? We'll see, we'll keep our fingers crossed in the meantime! ;)

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