In a landmark decision, the Italian Supreme Court has ruled that small-scale domestic cultivation of cannabis is legal. The decision triggered calls for further legalization from cannabis advocates and anger from conservatives who want a total ban on the plant.
The Court of Cassation was called upon to clarify previous conflicting interpretations of the law, to which they decreed that any criminal proceedings against those growing narcotic drugs should not apply to “small amounts grown domestically for the exclusive use of the grower”.
While the ruling was made on December 19 and only reported by media yesterday, December 27 which ignited the political debate in Italy again.
Senator Matteo Mantero, from the 5 Star Movement, one of the co-ruling parties of Italy, said: “The court has opened the way, now it’s up to us,”
Mantero, an advocate of legalization, presented an amendment to the country’s 2020 budget that called for the legalization and regulation of domestic use of cannabis which was rejected by the speaker of the senate and a member of the conservative Forza Italia party of Slivio Berlusconi.
The far-right League Party’s Matteo Salvini is also against the decriminalization of cannabis, saying, in reference to small shops in Italy selling low-THC ‘legal’ cannabis: “Drugs cause harm, forget about growing them or buying them in shops.”
One senators from Forza Italia, which is allied with the League Party, said that – if the coalition between the two parties is allowed into government, the center-right coalition “will cancel the absurd verdict of the court”.
Salvini, who previously held the post of deputy prime minister, has pushed for the closure of legal cannabis shops and was extremely happy when the Supreme Court ruled in May that many of their products should be banned.
The shops take advantage of legislation passed in 2016 that allows cannabis with a THC level of below 0.6 percent to be sold.
It seems the new ruling will has started a tug of war between the 5 Star Movement who favor a more liberal approach to cannabis and the allies in a center-left coalition who seem dead set against the legislation.
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