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Does the Italian parliament legalize cannabis?

The discussion on the bill which aims to amend the regulations on cannabis recently began in the italian Chamber. The text, which underwent some changes during the commission process, is supported by the centre-left and the M5s while it is opposed by the centre-right parties.

Among the innovations envisaged by the text is the legalization of the cultivation and possession, by adults and for personal use, of a maximum of four female cannabis plants, as in the Maltese model law which has recently become law. Is it possible, therefore, that the Italian parliament will legalize cannabis? Skepticism is a must, considering our country’s history in this regard, even if recent events in Europe, with Germany in the lead, could lead to some innovations.

Cannabis legalization in Italy, what it is

But what happens in reality if the Italian parliament legalizes cannabis? These are the salient points under discussion:

  • Cultivation for personal use. Adults are permitted to cultivate and possess for personal use no more than four female cannabis plants, suitable for and intended for the production of narcotic substances and the product obtained from them.
  • Modification of prison sentences. At the moment, imprisonment from 6 months to 4 years and a fine of up to 10,000 euros are proposed in the event that the detention and trafficking involve hard drugs; vice versa, imprisonment from 2 months to 2 years and a fine of up to 2,000 euros, when the detention and trafficking concern soft drugs.

The current situation on cannabis consumption in Italy

If the Italian parliament legalizes cannabis, new scenarios could be created in Italy too. According to the European Observatory for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCCDA), Italians who used cannabis at least once during 2020 were around 6.5 million. The current Italian legislation establishes the free cultivation and genetic modification of cannabis for the purpose of reducing the concentration of THC (the psychotropic active ingredient) with a limit allowed between 0.2% and 0.6%. This modification makes the so-called “cannabis light”, for curative but not recreational purposes and allows cannabis growers to produce and sell to specific retailers.

In 2019, the so-called Legal Cannabis DDL was approved which provides, for a private individual, the possibility of self-growing up to a maximum of 3 cannabis plants and of keeping a maximum of 15 grams of marijuana at home; Outdoor consumption of cannabis has a maximum permitted limit of 5 grams. As regards associations and clubs, following the necessary permits and communications required in the Prefecture, the cultivation and possession of cannabis is significantly higher.

The objective of such legislative measures is also to eradicate organized crime and to break down the black market for the sale of cannabis. In fact, under a state monopoly, there would also be economic regulation and the consequent taxes on its production and sale. Therefore, if the Italian parliament legalizes cannabis, adults will be allowed to cultivate, produce and possess, in addition to personal consumption and not for sale, marijuana plants up to a maximum of 4 female plants.

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