New Cannabis Laws in Italy…Gelato and Pizza are good if you have the munchies!!!
The global cannabis industry is taking so many unexpected twists and turns at the moment, admittedly, it is hard to keep up but this week we were shocked as we read an article in the Independent. Titled ‘Italian army aims to produce ‘the best-quality’ medical marijuana after finding current batches deficient’, the tagline stated that the Italian army have tested cannabis that has been seized and it is simply not good enough for medical patients!!! Like, what the actual F*ck? Are you kidding us?
Apparently the Italian army is set to do a large scale grow in order to try to force down the price of cannabis to around €8 per gram, according to the colonel. A few years back, Italy’s government announced the army would aid the production of medical marijuana and the first grow was revealed in Florence in 2015. The aim of further grows is to product around 100kg each year to be utilized by medical marijuana patients such as those with cancer, aids and multiple sclerosis.
OK – so it sounds good that Italy is allowing the use of medical marijuana, but what has it got to do with the army? According to the Colonel in Florence, the army was assigned the task of overseeing the grow due to the need for tight security and the fact it has been involved in pharmaceutical matters since the 1800s, providing medicines and treatments for injured soldiers.
Apparently, the police had offered the army cannabis that had been seized in nationwide raids but the colonel added ‘it was not up to the high standard’ that they required!!!
Aside from this rather crazy piece of info, Italy has more news in regards to their cannabis laws. On Monday, July 25, Italy’s Chamber of Deputies scheduled discussions on the possibility of legalizing marijuana. Having started the ball rolling, talks were centred on those on the supporting side arguing that legalization would help to eliminate profits for the mafia, although conservatives such as the Catholic Church have opposed this idea. However, Italian Senator Della Vedova has made a valid point by stating “By legalizing cannabis, the State would cut off substantial income from organized crime and transfer the illegal profits to the State budget.”
If the bill was to pass, cannabis would mean decriminalization for up to 15g for recreational use at home, 5g for recreational use outside the home, and even the allowance of 5 cannabis plants solely for personal use. On a slightly more commercial level, the government would allow the formation of ‘cannabis clubs’ that could have 50 members and licensed companies would also be permitted to sell cannabis. However, I guess it is commonness, but the import or export of marijuana would be illegal, as would actually using cannabis in public and DUI.
So far, talks have been swaying in a positive direction and the bill has been signed by 294 lawmakers representing both liberal and conservative parties. On The supporting side, Italy’s Anti-Mafia Directorate criticized “the total failure of repressive action,” to limit marijuana consumption and that relaxing existing laws would ease “the workload of the judiciary and free up resources for the security forces and judges in order to fight other crime”.
However, the opposition has made it clear they intend to fight the bill to the bitter end, and a coalition of centre-right Catholic lawmakers, “has presented 1,300 amendments to say no to the absurd draft”, the group leader Maurizio Lupi said.
Right now, the Italian laws are pretty staunch and cannabis is not legal in any way, shape or form, and those found in possession can have their personal papers, including their passport, confiscated.
Currently, the possession of cannabis is not permitted, and those guilty of personal use can be subjected to having their passports and other personal documents confiscated. Because of such stringent laws, if legalization was to happen it means Italy would become an unlikely hero in the global push to reform drug laws.
Watch this space… and fingers crossed for Italy. What do you guys think of the potential new law in Italy?