A personal note from Enrico Fletzer
Some of our Italian Encod members have asked the Steering Committee to comment on the first parliamentary proposal of more then 300 Members of the Italian Senate and of the Chamber of Deputies where the proposal is numerically at the strongest with about 220 subscribers.
Italy is home of Macchiavelli. Italy has always been an interesting location for the incubation of new and some times scary phenomena like fascism and some new political movements. Politics is also multifaceted and what looks positive today can be easily overturned into something negative.
For instance there is a discussion apparently coming out of reformist areas that could be possibly ban the selling of cannabis seeds.
Of course everything that comes out of the Parliament should be viewed in critical terms and in the case of the cannabis law proposal the activists are divided into the ones opposing the project, thinking it just leads to a capitalist monopolistic solution at its best or the groups following in more positive terms but possibly just delegating the Parliamentary Intergroup to proceed and possibly pass a decent law. Mobilisation is not that strong also due to the past sectarian divides that Encod has always tried to compose and that are basically still there. But at any Encod GA also due to our good practices and rules the Italian groups feel most of the time very well together and positive. That miracle is more difficult at home. No body is a prophet at home!
We don’t have a crystal ball. It’s surely positive that for the first time in Europe cannabis legalisation will be openly discussed. It never happened before.
Some Italian people have being disseminating in the past false declarations on Encod opening to multinational societies or to state monopolies. We consider these voices destitute of any foundation but they have been disseminated by people that evidently report what they might think but not what Encod declares and stands for.
Freedom to Farm has been and will remain one of our main political features and battle fields. Naturally, like in the case of the discussion in Italy, if individuals and groups are allowed to cultivate plants, in this case cannabis, for non profit persona use we would stand for it. This fact could be considered a positive solution also possibly decreasing the criminalisation and stigmatisation of users.
After one year of hearings, on the 25th of July, by coincidence the day that marks the end of fascism in Italy with the arrest of Mussolini, the Parliament started to discuss a bill that should be at the moment defined as a project of weakened state monopoly on cannabis both recreational and public. It should be taxed and regulated. Allowing citizens to grow up to 5 female plants and hold 15 grams in their homes and 5 grams in public places where consumption will continue to be illegal.Cannabis social clubs with up to 50 members should also be allowed. Both forms with a previous communication at the Tax Office. That is a controversial point.But if not deformed on personal and collective cultivation the law would be a major change.
The market should be more or less entirely taxed and regulated by the government.
There have been some critics by some activists. For instance on registration of growers and CSC.
Our position was and is that any proposal guaranteeing the right to grow for non profit the plants is welcome. And since we are not opposing economical activity, according to the Italian Constitution, the private initiative should not contrast with public utility and contribute to the general common wealth.
We should be active and vigilante in September when the discussion will be held for good at the Italian House of Deputies some more 90 MP’s are needed to have the proposal passing. It is also true that there have been about 2000 amendments of this non governmental proposal. Mostly by the right wing and catholic fundamentalists. At present the major political group supporting the proposal of cannabis legalisation is Five-star movement and the Left, whereas very few conservative MP’s stand for it and the government MP’s of the Democratic Party seem to be split into halves.
Basically we have to follow critically the discussion highlighting Encod’s indisputable proposal “Freedom to Farm!”