“It’s a paradox, as if the state blames the whole phenomenon on organized crime,” campaigners argued. “Legalizing does not mean promoting consumption but making it safer and more informed.
“If cannabis were legal, it would put an end to unnecessary trials for small amounts of the drug and ensure that patients who use it to relieve their excruciating pain will never have to face a court again,” they added.
The group further argued that legalizing cannabis would generate thousands of new jobs and increase tax revenues for the state, putting the approximate value at 7 billion euros or $ 8.2 mil millones.
They will continue to gather signatures before submitting the referendum proposal to the highest court of appeal, the Supreme Court of Cassation, for approval. If it goes through, the petition will be sent to the Constitutional Court for review and to evaluate whether the law would comply with the Italian Constitution. If successful, the Italian President will set a date for the referendum.
“So with a smile we will continue to share, [object Window], take to the streets and discuss because we know perfectly well what we want — legal cannabis and an Italy free from the mafia!” campaigners said.
Although Italy initially decriminalized the recreational consumption of cannabis in 1993, a 2006 law imposed penalties on consumers and tripled prison sentences for cultivating, selling and possessing the drug until it was altered in 2014.
Italy has taken a more liberal stance than some of its European counterparts, with the UK and France among those continuing to criminalize the recreational use of cannabis.
En septiembre 8, Italy decriminalized the cultivation of small amounts of cannabis for personal use
, although maximum jail time for dealing the drug increased from six to
10 años, according to local outlet Ansa
Although under current laws consumers can still be fined and have their personal documents suspended, it is sellers and cultivators who stand to benefit most from a potential law change, with jail time no longer a prospect.
Campaign organizers say there are
6 million cannabis users in Italy
. los 2021 European Drug Report
, issued by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
, said around
1.8% of adults aged
15-64 in the European Union used it daily
The report showed that cannabis accounted for 74% of drugs seized by law enforcement officials in the European Union, with cocaine accounting for 11% and amphetamines for 5%.