Italy Expected to Decriminalize Cannabis Next Year

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Italy is taking steps towards cannabis decriminalization now that the country has submitted enough signatures to approve the referendums. With discussions ramping up throughout the country, advocates have pulled together more than enough signatures for the referendum.

Photo by Ndispensable on Unsplash

Cannabis in Italy

Currently, anyone caught purchasing, distributing, or using cannabis can face up to 10 years of prison. On the other hand, cannabis is medically permitted in the country. As more and more countries move towards either legalization or decriminalization, Italy is joining the trend. Advocates must submit 50,000 signatures by Sept. 30.

The campaign released a statement on Facebook saying, “More than 500,000 online signatures in just a week for the #ReferendumCannabis. We celebrate them by thanking you one by one because this is a first and not just in Italy.”

“This is an extraordinary result, but it’s not surprising,” said the referendum’s organizing committee, which is made up of pro-weed advocacy groups. “The speed of the support shows the desire for change on cannabis,” the committee added in a statement.

Cannabis in Europe

Woman holding weed in her hand
Woman holding weed in her hand

While the rest of the world is taking steps towards cannabis legalization, Europe is taking its time. Most recently, Saint Lucia is making the necessary steps. Other states that have legalized or decriminalized cannabis include the Czech Republic, Portugal, Russia, Croatia, Spain, Ukraine, and Switzerland. On the other hand, everywhere else remains illegal.

If Italy is successful in decriminalizing cannabis, it will become one of the leaders in Europe for legalization. There are several benefits to decriminalizing cannabis and eventually legalizing it. As the world continues to push for legalization on a grand scale, Italy hopes to join the other power-house countries that have reaped the benefits of legalization.

The campaign groups said 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. The country initially decriminalized cannabis consumption back in 1993 but reversed the decision in 2006. Italy hopes to become one of the larger countries to make this attempt, with the UK and France still criminalizing the drug.

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