16 March 2015
A bi-partisan group of MPs, which includes many from the ruling left wing Democratic Party, but also MPs from the right, have backed the proposal from Benedetto Della Vedova, of the Scelta Civica (Civic Choice) Party, which is part of Italy’s ruling coalition Government.
Senator Benedetto Della Vedova, a Parliamentary undersecretary in the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs said: “It is a bipartisan proposition from members of the parliament of different political backgrounds. This shows that even in Italy a pragmatic approach, based on a rigorous cost / benefit analysis, is now increasingly popular in the political and cultural debate, not only outside but also inside the Parliament.”
The move comes at a time when a number of countries are liberalising their cannabis laws, including the small Latin American country of Uruguay and five states of the USA who have legalised the sale of recreational marijuana, with more to likely to follow.
In Italy the law permits some forms of medical cannabis and possession of small amounts is already decriminalised.
The Italian MPs who are backing this move have looked at the successful economic impacts that legal cannabis sales have had in the USA.
“In view of the failure of prohibition the group will draft a “pragmatic, non-ideological bill regulating the use of the weed, thereby syphoning profits away from organised crime,” Senator Della Vedova told a meeting of Italian deputies.
“Repressive action has totally failed.”
A parliamentary group involving members of different commissions will meet to discuss a possible draft of a law, which proponents say there is a climate to discuss.
If they can agree on a text then the Italian Parliament could vote on it at some point in the summer.
Annie Machon, European director of LEAP said, “It is good to see Italy is now considering the legalisation, regulation and control of cannabis, following in the footsteps of many US states and Uruguay.
The international debate at the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (UNCND) now takes as a baseline harm reduction and human rights issues. The UNCND is now beginning to grapple with the concept of regulation and control. It is good to see Italy discussing these important issues”
The newly formed International Medical Cannabis Patients Coalition have also presented their resolution to the UNCND this week, calling for the removal of cannabis from the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The Italian organisation Abiura (young doctors for therapeutic use of cannabis) are one of the founding members of this worldwide coalition.Republish