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 commissions. " Talking about the legalization of cannabis is not an unrealistic question, nor a diversion from the boredom of quarantine: it should rather be one of the first measures to be taken to deal structurally 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 that is on the verge of coping with 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 review of the consolidated law on narcotic drugs and abandon his punitive reasoning.
To help convince Parliament of the urgency of this debate, I therefore decided to join the 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 also grow and I do it as a citizen, but especially as a regional councilor of Lombardy and member of the commissions which compose the Council.
More specifically, "Io Coltivo" as a member of the Antimafia Commission, because the illicit drug market in Italy represents 30 billion euros per year: cannabis and hashish contribute slightly less than half. Immediately shutting down one of the great “money taps” of self-cultivation organized crime is an act of responsibility towards the state.
Especially now that the epidemic has opened up new investment channels and new strategies to the Mafia to obtain social consensus, it is necessary that the Italian institutions decide to manage and regulate the “black markets” which represent 214 billion euros (Istat, nes). Revenues from drug trafficking, in particular, allow clans to already be among the main shareholders of the legitimate economy: 30 billion, that is to say narcotic revenues, represent the value of all agricultural production national and half of the Italian automotive sector.
This means that the investment power of mafias in the legal market is immense and, among other things, endangers competition and the structures of liberal democracies. This is why "I cultivate" is also a member of the Commission for Productive Activities: the legalization of illegal markets creates tax revenue and new jobs because it stimulates unexplored, forgotten or in crisis economic sectors.
What would be the benefits for our economy? Suffice it to say that to the tax revenue generated by sales taxes, calculated between 5 and 7 billion from the constant research of the University of Messina and of Professor Marco Rossi of the Sapienza University of Rome, add the tax revenue of employees in the sector (around 1,5 billion per year; Irpef's 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 Commission for Lombard Prisons.
The latest drug addiction report to Parliament, and before it the 541th White Paper on Drugs, shows that a third of prisoners are in prison for violating the single text on narcotic drugs: the legalization of cannabis, and the abolition chain of illegal trade which results, would save 228 million euros in court and prison costs and XNUMX million in public order and security, without considering that this would solve the problem of chronic prison overcrowding for which the Italy is multi-convicted before the European Court of Human Rights.
Liberating the courts and ending the persecution of cannabis-related behaviors would also have indirect benefits for scientific research related 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 has so far been 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 Health Commission and that I am responsible for the health and the right to treatment of citizens, and not for "State prejudice" against a plant.
More than disobedience, it may be a civil affirmation action, open to the participation and support of other associations and individuals who believe that the Italian drug law should be changed. All the more reason, therefore, "it is only fair that luck should help us."