Italy: A Plan to Legalize Home Cultivation of Cannabis Set in Motion

The law that will allow cannabis growing for personal use was approved by Italy’s Lower Chamber committee.
10 September 2021
1 min read
Italy: A Plan to Legalize Home Cultivation of Cannabis Set in Motion

Italian legislators announced Wednesday that they adopted the initiative that would legalize the cultivation of up to four cannabis plants in one’s own home. The proclaimed goal is to ease patients’ access to medical marijuana and discourage them from buying their medicine from street dealers. In the same vein, the easing of restrictions on small-scale cultivation will be accompanied by imposing even harsher penalties on illegal trafficking.

So far, only two European countries—Spain and the Czech Republic—have legalized small-scale cannabis growing, and another two—Cyprus and Austria—allow the growing of the plant for medical purposes.

All For the Patient’s Benefit

While describing the new initiative, Mario Perantoni, the president of the Lower Chamber's Justice Committee, stressed that the legalization of domestic cultivation isn’t primarily for the benefit of recreational smokers. The measure is meant to facilitate access to medical marijuana for people who need it.

Medical use of cannabis has been legal in Italy since 2014, but it’s notoriously difficult for a company to get a license for production, import, and distribution. This creates unnecessary barriers between the medicine and the patient. The new initiative is also based on a 2019 ruling of the Supreme Court that deemed illegal the prohibition of cannabis growing for personal consumption.

Harm Reduction is Key

Perantoni also voiced a concern that prohibition plays into the hands of organized crime. If some of the patients grow their own medicine, less money will line the pockets of criminals. The same legislation will ensure that drug dealers and traffickers will now face harsher sentences. The maximum prison term will increase from 6 to 10 years. Similarly, no act of selling illicit substances to children or near schools will be considered a minor offense.

10 September 2021
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