The Supreme Court of Cassation of Italy ruled to abolish the punishment for growing up to two cannabis bushes for personal use. According to politicians, the decision of the court is the first step towards the legalization of cannabis in the country.
Italians will be able to freely grow hemp at home
The court ruled that growing cannabis in small quantities cannot be considered a crime due to the small amount of marijuana received. Moreover, the judges concluded that the use of cannabinoids does not threaten the health system and the well-being of citizens. Previously, Italians were punished for the cultivation of hemp, regardless of the number of plants and the concentration of THC in them. For growing up to two bushes, a fine was imposed from 3,000 to 26,000 euros and imprisonment for a term of one to six years.
Employees of the Italian prosecutor’s office explained the need for strict sanctions against hemp growers by the fact that plant cultivation is on the list of socially dangerous offenses, as it creates opportunities for illegal marijuana trade. However, the Supreme Court is convinced that this statement is false in relation to people who grow a small number of plants.
Politicians’ opinion on the cancellation of the ban on cannabis cultivation
Many Italian politicians supported the decision of the court. Senator Matteo Mantero said the Supreme Court’s decision provides an opportunity to legalize cannabis in Italy. According to the leader of the party + Europa Benedetto Della Vedova, the creation of a regulated hemp market will benefit Italy, because it will reduce the profits of drug dealers and provide citizens with access to quality products.
Mantero noted that Italians finance the mafia by buying marijuana on the black market. If cannabis is purchased in licensed stores, the budget will receive additional money in the form of tax deductions, which will be used to implement socially significant projects. The head of the Italian Left faction, Nikola Fratojanni, claims that the police should fight organized crime instead of chasing people who planted a couple of hemp bushes on the balcony.
Members of the right-wing and centrist parties condemned the actions of the Supreme Court, saying that the abolition of punishment for the cultivation of cannabis will contribute to an increase in the number of drug addicts. In their opinion, marijuana is an “input drug” and encourages a person to abuse heavily prohibited substances.