Regional Councilor Michele Usuelli joins civil disobedience for legalization
Apology and Italian testimony for the French. “I grow cannabis because I am a member of the Antimafia, Productive Activities, Health and Prison committees. ". Talking about the legalization of cannabis is not an unrealistic question, nor a diversion from the boredom of quarantine: rather it should be one of the first steps to be taken to structurally deal with the repercussions and consequences that the economic crisis. will produce, and already partially produce, in our country.
I would add that a political class which is on the verge of facing a collapse of the "national system" of such magnitude should place the regulation of soft drugs at the center of political debate, as an act of seriousness. Especially after the filing, on April 16, 2020, of the reasons for the judgment of the united sections of the Court of Cassation which, de facto decriminalizing culture for personal use, call for a revision of the consolidated law on narcotics and abandonment of his punitive reasoning.
To help convince Parliament of the urgency of this debate, I have therefore decided to join in mass civil disobedience " Io Coltivo“, Launched on April 20 by Meglio Legale, Radicali Italiani, Associazione Luca Coscioni, Dolcevita and more than twenty other activists who have been fighting for years against the ban on cannabis and its derivatives. From today, I am also growing and doing so as a citizen, but above all as a regional councilor of Lombardy and a member of the committees that make up the Council.
More precisely, “Io Coltivo” as a member of the Anti-Mafia Commission, because the illicit drug market in Italy represents 30 billion euros per year: cannabis and hashish contribute a little less than half. Immediately shutting down one of the big “money taps” of self-cultivation organized crime is an act of accountability to the state.
Especially now that the epidemic has opened up to the Mafia new investment channels and new strategies to obtain a social consensus, it is necessary that the Italian institutions decide to manage and regulate the "black markets" which represent every year 214 billion euros (Istat, nes). Receipts from drug trafficking, in particular, allow clans to be already among the main shareholders of the legitimate economy: 30 billion, that is to say the receipts from drugs, represent the value of all agricultural production. national and half of the Italian automotive sector.
This means that the investment power of the mafias in the legal market is immense and, among other things, endangers the competition and the structures of liberal democracies. This is why “I cultivate” is also a member of the Productive Activities Commission: the legalization of illegal markets creates tax revenues and new jobs because it stimulates unexplored, forgotten or in crisis economic sectors.
What would be the benefits for our economy? Just think of the tax revenues generated by sales taxes, calculated between 5 and 7 billion from the constant research of the University of Messina and Professor Marco Rossi of the Sapienza University of Rome, are added the tax revenue from sector employees (around 1,5 billion per year; Irpef revenue for the employment of around 350000 workers for the entire production chain). The savings made on the justice front are then added to the active induced activities, which is why “Io Coltivo” is also a member of the Lombard Prisons Commission.
The latest report on drug addiction presented to Parliament, and before it the 541th White Paper on Drugs, shows that a third of prisoners are in prison for having violated the single text on narcotics: the legalization of cannabis, and the abolition of the chain of illegal trade that results from it, would save 228 million euros in legal and prison costs and XNUMX million in public order and safety, without considering that this would solve the problem of chronic prison overcrowding for which the Italy has been convicted several times before the European Court of Human Rights.
Freeing the courts and ending the persecution of cannabis-related behavior would also have indirect benefits for scientific research linked to its proven therapeutic effects. Thousands of patients struggle to find cannabinoids in pharmacies and the doctors who prescribe them because, although it has been recognized in Italy for 13 years, it is so far considered a secondary phytosanitary drug rather than a muscle relaxant, a valid antidepressant or pain reliever. "I cultivate", therefore, also because I am a member of the Committee on Health and I am responsible for the health and the right to treatment of citizens, and not for the "damage of the state" against a plant.
More than disobedience, it may be civil affirmation action, open to the participation and support of other associations and individuals who believe that the Italian drug law needs to be changed. All the more reason, then, “it is only fair that luck helps us”.