An introduction to Italian cannabis politics

In Italy things changed, concerning cannabis legalization, in 1993, when the Radical party under Pannella's leadership promoted a referendum to repeal marijuana use and cultivation.

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After we reported on the Italian Democratic Senator Luigi Manconi filing a bill to legalise cannabis use and cultivation, Italy made it to the front page again when the Italian city of Turin voted in favor of legalizing cannabis and became the first city in the country to do so. In this article, we delve deeper in the sophisticated Italian cannabis politics.

In 2006, with the excuse of the Turin Olympics, the parliamentarians Fini and Giovanardi wrote a law against ganja cultivation, use and trafficking, making no difference between heavy and soft drugs.

Since that year, Italians organized different peaceful events to promote the legalization of marijuana. For example in August 2013, in Reggio Emilia, thousands of people participated in a friendly pro medical cannabis protest, convinced of the cause and wanting to save lives.

From the start of the new year, after Colorado started the sales of recreational marijuana, many politicians in Italy (both right and left wing) started talking about marijuana again (Fava, Bernardini, Vendola, Bonino, Manconi, Ferrero and all the 5 stars movement “parliamentarians”…) and are now in favor of legalization.

Unfortunately the Ministry of Health published last week a document with a section dedicated to the fight against legalization:

“Spesso sono considerate droghe innocue. Ma i derivati della cannabis (maijuana e hashish) hanno un’ampia gamma di effetti nocivi. Danneggiano l’apparato respiratorio e quello immunitario, rendendo piu’ fragile quindi l’organismo.”

Translation:

“Often considered as soft and harmless, cannabis and its derivatives (Marijuana and Hashish) can have many harmful effects. They hurt the respiratory and immune systems, making the body fragile.”

With the abolition of prohibition (that has always failed), a natural and particular plant would be legalized, which would bring only positive changes to the government and the population.

This abolition would avoid 5 million euros spent every year on keeping the prohibition laws intact; in fact the government could earn millions instead of funding the mafia thanks to prohibition. Moreover Italian tribunals wouldn’t be blocked by tens of thousands of stupid trials for use and cultivation of soft drugs. This plant would benefit the country in so many ways: economic, health and justice wise.