Popular referendums in Italy might be referred to as if 500,000 signatures are obtained, and campaigners had been capable of get hold of the required quantity properly earlier than the September 30 deadline.
If the general public votes to decriminalize hashish, the acquisition, sale and cultivation of the drug will all develop into authorized beneath Italian legislation.
The consumption of hashish just isn’t criminalized beneath Italian legislation and marijuana for medical functions is permitted. However, shopping for, promoting and mass cultivating the herb is unlawful 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 doesn’t imply selling consumption however making it safer and extra knowledgeable.
“If hashish had been authorized, it might 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 must face a court docket once more,” they added.
The group additional argued that legalizing hashish would generate hundreds of latest jobs and improve tax revenues for the state, placing the approximate worth at 7 billion euros or $8.2 billion.
They will proceed to assemble signatures earlier than submitting the referendum proposal to the best court docket of attraction, the Supreme Court of Cassation, for approval. If it goes by, the petition will probably be despatched to the Constitutional Court for evaluation and to judge whether or not the legislation would adjust to the Italian Constitution. 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 talk about as a result of we all know completely properly what we wish — authorized hashish and an Italy free from the mafia!” campaigners mentioned.
Although 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.
Although beneath 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%.