Italy Could Be On the Verge of Legalizing Marijuana

   

Italy could be on the verge of legalizing marijuana after 250 legislators, across political demographics signed onto a plan to allow legal possession, cultivation and use. If the plan comes to fruition, Italy would become the largest country in Europe to legalize cannabis. Europe has long been more tolerant of marijuana use, with the Netherlands being the most famous example, while Portugal has had a great experience decriminalizing all personal drug use. The Italian proposal, while restrictive upon public use and advertising, would allow for personal cultivation and private social clubs.

International Business Times reports:

The leap may appear far-fetched for a country that just 10 years ago voted in a draconian anti-drug bill that removed any distinction between hard and soft drugs, increasing sentences for pot smokers and heroin addicts alike.

But the legalization movement recently gained momentum, with one of the world’s most progressive legislative proposals on marijuana being submitted to the Italian parliament. Drafted by the Intergrupo Parlamentare Cannabis Legale, the legislation would allow anyone over the age of 18 to cultivate as many as five plants at home. Italians could also team up to form a “cannabis social club,” with each having a maximum of 50 people growing as many as 250 plants.

In both cases, the product would have to be consumed or shared by the farmers, who would be banned from selling and profiting from it while notifying authorities about their activities. All other individuals would be allowed to store as many as 15 grams of marijuana at home and carry as many as 5 grams, with higher quantities being allowed for medical use.

Cannabis prohibition is a plight that hurts good people and societies across the globe, so it is great to see progress around the world. Each and every country that repeals prohibition adds momentum to this important fight for freedom. Italy’s society and economy will reap many rewards if this legalization plan comes to fruition and more countries will soon follow suit. State by state, country by country, step by step, cannabis prohibition is crumbling all around us and we all are better for it.

Anthony Johnson

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization effort. He served as director of both the New Approach Oregon and Vote Yes on 91 PACs, the political action committees responsible for the state's legalization campaign. As director of New Approach Oregon, Anthony continues to work towards effectively implementing the cannabis legalization system while protecting small business owners and the rights of patients. He sits on the Oregon Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee and fights for sensible rules at the legislature as well as city councils and county commissions across the state. Anthony helps cannabis business comply with Oregon's laws and advises advocates across the country. He also serves as content director of both the International Cannabis Business Conference and the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, helping share the vision of moving the cannabis industry forward in a way that maintains the focus on keeping people out of prison and protecting patients. He was a member of the Oregon Health Authority Rules Advisory Committee, assisting the drafting of the administrative rules governing Oregon’s state-licensed medical marijuana facilities. He first co-authored and helped pass successful marijuana law reform measures while a law student at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. He passed the Oregon Bar in 2005 and practiced criminal defense for two years before transitioning to working full-time in the political advocacy realm. His blogs on Marijuana Politics are personal in nature and don't speak for or reflect the opinions of any group or organization.