Popular referendums in Italy might be known as if 500,000 signatures are obtained, and campaigners had been capable of download the required quantity nicely earlier than the September 30 deadline.
If the general public votes to decriminalize cannabis, the acquisition, sale and cultivation of the drug will all develop into authorized underneath Italian regulation.
The consumption of cannabis isn’t criminalized underneath Italian regulation and marijuana for medical functions is permitted. However, shopping for, promoting and mass cultivating the herb is prohibited and sellers may withstand 10 years in jail if convicted.
“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 had been authorized, it could put an finish to pointless trials for small quantities of the drug and be sure that sufferers who use it to alleviate their excruciating ache won’t ever need to face a courtroom once more,” 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 billion.
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’ll proceed to share, clarify, take to the streets and focus on as a result of we all know completely nicely what we wish — authorized 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.
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.
The report confirmed that cannabis accounted for 74% of medicine seized by regulation enforcement officers within the European Union, with cocaine accounting for 11% and amphetamines for five%.