Italy decriminalizes recreational cannabis and legalizes home cultivation
Italy: The House of Representatives has approved the national cultivation of up to 4 cannabis plants for personal use. The Italian House of Representatives on Wednesday approved the bill that abolishes the indictment for growing up to 4 cannabis plants in the house. The bill is also expected to receive final approval in the Senate soon. At the same time, the proposal increases the sanction for illegal trade.
Green light for mini-crops at home
Italy should soon allow its citizens to grow up to 4 cannabis plants in their homes for their own use, without the need for a license and without fear of criminalization, in what appears to be another step on the road to legalization in a Mediterranean country .
In a historic decision adopted Wednesday 8 in the House of Representatives (lower house of parliament) in Rome, MPs approved a bill abolishing the section criminalizing personal cannabis consumption and home cultivation of up to four female cannabis plants for the purpose of Recreation.
When the law is finally approved by the upper house, the Senate, Italy will become one of the first countries in Europe to allow its citizens to grow cannabis in their homes without fear of incrimination, Spain and the Republic. Czech Republic already authorizing in the same way up to five plants to be cultivated in private homes.
However, as consumption increases, the new law also increases the penalties for cannabis trafficking, from 6 years to 10 years in prison.
This decision comes in the context of a decision by the Italian Supreme Court which, already in December 2019, ruled that the cultivation of cannabis at home is not considered a violation of the law as long as the purpose of the cultivation is for personal use and not for sale and as long as there is no danger to public health.
According to the ruling of the judges at the time: Home cultivation in small quantities, when done at home and for personal use), should be exempted from the "cultivation of drugs" section as it appears. in the law, if it is a small amount of plants.
The court ruling has sparked a heated public debate in Italy that has delayed legislation, but it now appears the country is heading down a path that will ultimately lead to legalization, at least in part.
Mario Prentoni, chairman of the Parliament's “Justice Commission” and one of the supporters of the law, said that “growing cannabis at home is also essential for patients who need it for medical purposes but which is often not available, and also to combat black market sales. and the resulting crime.
He said: “While the law will reduce the penalties for minor offenses, it will increase the penalties for cannabis-related crimes. In short, this law also wishes to protect minors and young people in Italy and I hope that it will never be possible to be confronted with a sale for minors in schools. We must fight crime and strengthen the protection of young people. "
By the way, Italians already have fairly convenient public access to cannabis, but only strains with a high concentration of CBD and less than 0,6% THC. These varieties are already sold all over the country in specialized stores.
According to a European Commission survey released in February this year, 7 percent of the country's residents aged 15 and over reported having used cannabis at least once in the past year. According to the survey, at least 8% of Europeans in general, aged 15 and over, or around 30 million people, have consumed a product containing cannabis in the past year.
The country with the highest prevalence is Ireland, with 17% affirmative responses to the question of cannabis use. It is followed by Luxembourg with 16%, Latvia with 14%, Slovenia with 12%, the Czech Republic and Finland with 11%, and the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium and of Estonia with 10%.
An interesting fact is that in the Netherlands, where the purchase of cannabis in cafes is allowed, the percentage of cannabis products consumed in the past year was only 9%. In Portugal (where full non-discrimination was approved in 2001 for all types of drugs) the figure was only 3%, while in Greece only 1% of respondents reported having used cannabis. .