According to Felice Romani, a spokesperson for SIULP (Sindacato Italiano Unitario Lavoratori Polizia – or roughly translated to the Italian Police Workers Union), legalization would make cannabis safer by allowing for the monitoring of chemicals and pollutants. Romani says that legalization would also help combat widespread crime associated with cannabis black market.
Italy’s Chamber of Deputies will debate a bill to legalize recreational cannabis on Monday, July 25th. Specifically, the measure would legalize the possession of up to 15 grams of cannabis, and the personal cultivation of up to 5 plants; cannabis clubs and retail outlets would also be allowed.
“[T]his bill, if it becomes law, will be of great significance not just within Italy but regionally and even globally”, says Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “With five more U.S. states preparing to vote on marijuana legalization on November 8, and Canada poised to legalize marijuana next year, Italy could well provide the catalyst that Europe needs to move forward in ending marijuana prohibition.”
218 members of Italy’s parliament have signed on to a measure to legalize recreational cannabis which was given approval yesterday by the Intergrupo Parlamentare Cannabis Legale, a cross-party committee of lawmakers. The proposal now goes to Italy’s full 945 member parliament for consideration.
If approved into law, the measure would allow adults in Italy to possess and cultivate cannabis for recreational purposes, while legalizing cannabis retail outlets, and cannabis social clubs where up to 50 people can cultivate the plant as a group.
By Phillip Smith, StoptheDrugWar.org
An effort to legalize marijuana is getting underway in the Italian parliament, with some 60 lawmakers having signed onto a motion to do just that by the time it was rolled-out three weeks ago. Now, the “all party” group is getting to work on the twin tasks of drafting an actual legalization bill and getting it enacted into law.
The effort is being led by Sen. Benedetto Della Vedova, who is also Italy’s undersecretary of state for foreign affairs. Della Vedova was a long-time member of the country’s Nonviolent Radical Party, but was elected to parliament as a member of the centrist Scelta Civica.
“It is a bipartisan proposition from members of the parliament of different political backgrounds.” says Senator Benedetto Della Vedova, a Parliamentary undersecretary in the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. “This shows that even in Italy a pragmatic approach, based on a rigorous cost / benefit analysis, is now increasingly popular in the political and cultural debate, not only outside but also inside the Parliament.”