Italy likely to hold a referendum on decriminalizing cannabis next year



A popular referendum could be called in Italy if 500,000 signatures were received, and campaigners were able to obtain the required amount before the September 30 deadline.

If the public votes to decriminalize cannabis, the purchase, sale and cultivation of the drug would all become legal under Italian law.

“Over 500,000 online signatures for #ReferendumCannabis in just one week,” campaigners wrote on their official facebook page. “We celebrate them one by one by thanking them, because this is the first time and not only in Italy.”

Consumption of cannabis is not an offense under Italian law and marijuana is allowed for medical purposes. However, buying, selling and large-scale cultivation of the herb is illegal and dealers can face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

“It’s a contradiction, as if the state blames the entire incident on organized crime,” argued the campaigners. ‚ÄúLegalization does not mean promoting consumption but making it safer and more informed.

He said, “If cannabis were legal, it would eliminate unnecessary tests for small amounts of the drug and ensure that patients who use it to relieve their excruciating pain never face court again.” have to do it.”

The group further argued that legalizing cannabis would create thousands of new jobs and increase tax revenue for the state, with an estimated value of 7 billion euros, or $8.2 billion.

They will continue to collect signatures before the referendum motion is presented for approval to the Supreme Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Cassation. If it is passed, the petition will be sent to the Constitutional Court for review and evaluation as to whether the law will comply with the Italian Constitution. If successful, the Italian president will set a date for the referendum.

“So with a smile we will continue to share, explain, hit the streets and discuss because we know very well what we want – an Italy free of legal cannabis and the mafia!” preachers said.

Although Italy initially decriminalized the recreational consumption of cannabis in 1993, a 2006 law imposed fines on consumers and tripled prison sentences for altering, selling and possessing the drug in 2014.

Italy has taken a more liberal stance than some of its European counterparts, with the UK and France continuing to criminalize the recreational use of cannabis.

According to a local outlet, on September 8, Italy decriminalized the cultivation of small amounts of cannabis for personal use, although the maximum jail time for drug dealing was increased from six to 10 years. loop.

While consumers can still be fined and have their personal documents suspended under current laws, it is sellers and farmers who benefit most from potential law changes, with the potential for jail time left.

Campaign organizers say there are 6 million cannabis users in Italy. NS 2021 European Drug ReportReleased by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction, it states that approximately 1.8% of adults aged 15-64 in the European Union use it daily.

The report showed that cannabis accounted for 74% of the drugs confiscated by law enforcement officials in the European Union, with cocaine at 11% and amphetamines at 5%.

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