Italy: Parliament debates self-cultivation

Legalization in Italy

Cannabis legalization in Italy, new bills

The Italian Parliament has started debating a law that could legalize the self-cultivation of cannabis. If passed, Italian citizens of legal age will be able to grow and harvest up to four plants at home for personal consumption. Currently we find the Law No. 242 of December 2, 2016, which sanctions the free cultivation and genetic modification of cannabis with the aim of reducing its THC concentration with an authorized limit between 0,2% and 0,6%. This change specifically makes it "cannabis light", intended for medicinal but not recreational purposes, and allows cannabis producers to produce it and sell it to retailers.

Recently, the Justice Committee of the Chamber of Deputies approved this initiative. The next step is the consideration of the proposal by the Lower House as a whole. According to Ahora Roma, the bill has the support of the centre-left and the M5E. In the meantime, the Lega, Brother of Italy and Forza Italia parties have come out against it.

Mario Perantoni, President of the Justice Commission of the Chamber of Deputies and member of the M5E, celebrated: "The start of the debate on the law decriminalizing the domestic cultivation of four cannabis plants marks a historic day for our country, rooted in old failed repressive drug policies.

He added: “The law will save 600 million euros a year in unnecessary prosecution costs, but above all, it will make possible widespread therapeutic use and take space away from drug trafficking.

The initiative also aims to raise awareness of the risks associated with the abuse of substances such as alcohol, tobacco and narcotics. They are therefore seeking to establish a national day to raise awareness among schoolchildren.

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Current regulatory situation in Italy

Under pressure surrounding the issue of legalization, a 2015 proposal was approved in 2019, modeled on the current US model, namely” Legal cannabis “, where recreational use and its self-production are authorized and legalized. Obviously with limits and regulations.

For an individual it is possible to cultivate yourself up to a maximum of 3 cannabis plants and it is possible to possess a maximum of 15 grams of marijuana at home, while outside the authorized limit is 5 grams. With regard to associations and clubs, after obtaining the necessary authorizations and notifications from the prefecture, the cultivation and possession of cannabis is considerably higher.

This bill was also proposed by the 5 Star Movement, but not only to protect and deter young people from using mind-altering substances; the objective is also to eradicate the organized crime that hides behind the sale of cannabis and to break the black market of this substance. Indeed, within the framework of a state monopoly, there would also be economic regulation and substantial taxes on the production and sale of the plant.

If we turn to the past, we discover that until 1975, after the Second World War, Italy was the largest producer of industrial hemp.

The discussion in the Chamber of Deputies focuses on new bills aimed at regulating the possession, use and consumption of cannabis. In particular the question of the total legalization of the plant.

More specifically, it aims to allow adults to cultivate, produce, possess and consume their personal production and not to sell it, up to a maximum of four female plants. But in return, some penalties are increased while others are reduced, all depending on the extent and seriousness of the offense. For example, in the event of exceeding the possession limit or petty trafficking involving a few grams, the penalty provided for by law is two months to two years in prison and a fine of 2000 euros, if are "soft drugs". On the other hand, for so-called “hard” drugs, the penalty ranges from 6 months to 4 years of imprisonment as well as a fine of 10000 euros.

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And to finish with the proposed framework, it is planned to make illegal the abandonment of equipment used for the use of dangerous drugs, such as syringes, in public places because of a potential danger to the safety of others. But it's not just the cannabis itself that is discussed. Indeed, there is a desire to promote and raise awareness of the issue of drugs, from cannabis to alcohol, especially among young people. This is why it is planned to establish a national day on the negative consequences of the use and abuse of harmful substances such as tobacco, alcohol and psychotropic substances as well as narcotics. This, at the beginning of each school year, particularly targeting first and second year schools.

While the center-left approves and promotes legalization, the thoughts of the League, which firmly believes that this law will encourage the consumption and trafficking of mind-altering substances, are contrary.

Tags : selfItalyLaw

The author weedmaster

Media broadcaster and communications manager specializing in legal cannabis. Do you know what they say? knowledge is power. Understand the science behind cannabis medicine, while staying up to date with the latest health related research, treatments and products. Stay up to date with the latest news and ideas on legalization, laws, political movements. Discover tips, tricks and how-to guides from the most seasoned growers on the planet, including the latest research and findings from the scientific community on the medical qualities of cannabis.