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Italy's Top Court Rules That Small Amounts Of Cannabis Are Legal

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Italy's Top Court Rules That Small Amounts Of Cannabis Are Legal

The top court in Italy has ruled that small scale cultivation of cannabis is legal, which has sparked further calls from advocates to legalise weed entirely, and complaints from conservatives who don't want to see cannabis legalised.

In a landmark ruling, the Court of Cassation was called upon to clarify previous conflicting interpretations of the law, to which they decreed that any criminal proceedings against those growing narcotic drugs should not apply to "small amounts grown domestically for the exclusive use of the grower".

Strangely enough, the ruling was actually made a while back on December 19, but it has only been picked up by media agencies today and has sparked the political debate anew with regards to cannabis use in Italy.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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Matteo Mantero, a senator from the 5 Star Movement, which is one of the co-ruling parties of Italy, said: "The court has opened the way, now it's up to us,"

Mantero, himself an advocate of legalisation, presented an amendment to the country's 2020 budget that called for legalisation and regulation of domestic use of cannabis.

However, it was denied by the speaker of the senate, who is a member of the conservative Forza Italia party of Silvio Berlusconi.

Matteo Salvini, from the far-right League Party has also spoken out against the decriminalisation of weed.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

He said: "Drugs cause harm, forget about growing them or buying them in shops,"

That's a reference to the small shops that are commonplace in Italy that sell low-strength 'legal' weed.

One of the senators from Forza Italia, which is allied with the League Party, said that - if the coalition between the two parties is allowed into government - the first thing on their agenda will be to quell the court's ruling.

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He said that the centre-right coalition "will cancel the absurd verdict of the court".

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Salvini, who has previously been the deputy prime minister, has pushed for the closure of legal weed shops and was extremely pleased in May when the Supreme Court ruled that many of their products should be banned.

The whole idea behind the shops is that they take advantage of a 2016 legislation that allows cannabis with a THC level of below 0.6 percent to be sold.

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It's not entirely clear what this ruling will eventually mean, given that the 5 Star Movement, who are an anti-establishment party, favour more liberal approaches to cannabis, whereas the allies in a centre-left coalition with them are more cautious.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News, Europe, Interesting, Weird

Tom Wood
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