Common referendums in Italy might be known as if 500,000 signatures are obtained, and campaigners had been capable of acquire the mandatory quantity nicely earlier than the September 30 deadline.
If the general public votes to decriminalize hashish, the acquisition, sale and cultivation of the drug will all grow to be authorized below Italian legislation.
The consumption of hashish will not be criminalized below Italian legislation and marijuana for medical functions is permitted. Nonetheless, shopping for, promoting and mass cultivating the herb is against the law and sellers might withstand 10 years in jail if convicted.
“It is a paradox, as if the state blames the entire phenomenon on organized crime,” campaigners argued. “Legalizing doesn’t imply selling consumption however making it safer and extra knowledgeable.
“If hashish had been authorized, it will put an finish to pointless trials for small quantities of the drug and make 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 additional argued that legalizing hashish would generate hundreds of recent jobs and improve tax revenues for the state, placing the approximate worth at 7 billion euros or $8.2 billion.
They are going to proceed to assemble signatures earlier than submitting the referendum proposal to the very best courtroom of enchantment, the Supreme Court docket of Cassation, for approval. If it goes by way of, the petition can be despatched to the Constitutional Court docket for evaluate and to judge whether or not the legislation would adjust to the Italian Structure. If profitable, 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 hashish and an Italy free from the mafia!” campaigners mentioned.
Though Italy initially decriminalized the leisure consumption of hashish in 1993, a 2006 legislation imposed penalties on shoppers and tripled jail sentences for cultivating, promoting and possessing the drug till it was altered in 2014.
Italy has taken a extra liberal stance than a few of its European counterparts, with the UK and France amongst these persevering with to criminalize the leisure use of hashish.
Though below present legal guidelines shoppers can nonetheless be fined and have their private paperwork suspended, it’s sellers and cultivators who stand to profit most from a possible legislation change, with jail time not a prospect.
The report confirmed that hashish accounted for 74% of medication seized by legislation enforcement officers within the European Union, with cocaine accounting for 11% and amphetamines for five%.