Italy Legalizes Small-Scale Marijuana Cultivation
Italy joins the small group of countries that have legalized the possession and cultivation of marijuana plants for personal use. On December 19, Italy’s highest court released an official statement that decriminalized the home cultivation of cannabis on a small scale.
In Italy, the sale and cultivation of marijuana has been illegal since the 1990s, but this decision was actually a new interpretation of the existing 2008 Supreme Court decision for narcotic plant cultivation that prohibits all marijuana cultivation in Italy. However, the subject of home-grown marijuana penalties (from 2008) remained up until now; this was partially solved due to the differing, and sometimes contradictory, decisions from courts all across Italy.
The event that led to this adjustment of the Italian law was the appeal launched by a 29-year-old Neapolitan that was sentenced to one year in prison and a 3,000 euro fine due to the cultivation of two marijuana plants in 2013. Consequently, though technically still illegal, the limited cultivation of marijuana in home conditions — exclusively for personal use — is no longer subject to legal penalties.
Nevertheless, the complete list of rules and regulations accompanying this decision is still being worked upon.
Needless to stay, this decision caused a big political stir in Italy, where a political debate over cannabis use was immediately launched. The two main opposing sides, the 5-Star Movement with its liberal views concerning the cannabis question and the right-wing League Party, have yet to reach a consensus over the matter.
Matteo Salvini, the leader of the right-wing League Party in Italy, firmly believes that this court decision is absurd.
On the other hand, Matteo Mantero, the senator from the co-ruling 5-Star Movement, presented an amendment that calls for the legalization and regulation of domestic cannabis use, but it got overthrown.
In spite of everything, home growing of cannabis has been de-penalized, protecting many from doing time, while the exact quantity of allowed production, for the time being, is not precisely determined.