Italian MPs to Debate Controversial Cannabis Law

Italian lawmakers will begin discussion on Monday of a proposal to ease up on the recreational use and growing of cannabis -- a highly inflammatory topic, with the government on the fence.

Were the draft to pass into law, people would be allowed to grow up to five cannabis plants for personal use and keep up to 15 grams of marijuana at home and five grams on their person.

It would still be illegal for people to buy or sell weed or smoke marijuana in public, but the Italian state could start issuing licenses allowing the drug to be grown and sold in a similar way to tobacco.

Several European countries, as well as a number of US states, have legalised marijuana in recent years, both for medical and recreational use.


'Calabrian Wave,' Legendary Red Cannabis Returns to Italy

Calabria is considered Italy’s wildest region. Besides being home to one of the most secretive and ruthless mafia organizations, the 'ndrangheta, it also gave name to the Italy’s only psychoactive cannabis landrace strains

Located in the southernmost part of the sunny, hilly countryside, Calabria forms the “toe” of the Italian peninsula. To foreign visitors, Calabria might sometimes be overwhelming. The food is a bit coarse and very spicy — peperoncino, the local chili peppers, are sold not by the gram but by the kilo.


How and Why Italy's Cannabis Laws Could Soon Change

In July, Italy's parliament will begin debating historic changes to cannabis laws that could see the drug legalized.

On July 25th, the draft legislation will be presented in Italy's lower house for the first time. The following day, politicians will begin voting on whether or not to send the bill through to the upper house for final approval.

If new laws are passed, how will things change?

Obviously, the proposals being debated will probably undergo some amendments if they are to make it into law. However, in their current form proposals would allow:

Possession: Citizens will be able to hold up to 15 grams of herb at home and take up to five grams with them when they go out and about.


Is Legalization Coming to Naples, Home of Mafia-Controlled Cannabis?

Cannabis activists gathered in the Southern Italian town of Salerno, near Naples, earlier this month to form a new federation in favor of regulating cannabis in Italy. There are even hopeful signs the effort will find traction — Parliament is scheduled to have a debate on the subject on June 27.

The passing of a joint, besides still being illegal in Italy, can be especially dangerous in Naples. The local Mafia, the “system,” does not tolerate third parties selling or distributing cannabis outside its monopoly. It’s a fact often denounced by the powerful DIA, the District Anti-Mafia Direction, which last year proclaimed the utter failure of prohibition and urged the government to start regulating cannabis. 


Italy: Why farmers in Puglia have turned to cannabis

In the fields around Taranto, Puglia, more and more farmers are sowing fields of cannabis in a bid to save their precious soil which has been rendered unsafe thanks to years of pollution from Europe's biggest steel plant.

The 15 million square metre Ilva steel plant provides some 14,000 local jobs but the plant has wreaked untold damage on the region by spewing toxic emissions into the air for decades

The emissions have caused severe problems for farmers within a 20km radius of the steel plant who can no longer farm their land. The problem is dioxins: a series of carcinogenic compounds which are released into the atmosphere by heavy industries and then fall to earth, building up in soil.


Forget Colorado Weed, Marijuana Companies Are Going Global

Legal marijuana is already a global industry and the U.S. is behind the curve.

When you think of the legal marijuana industry, you think of Colorado and California. But marijuana is not uniquely American, nor is the legalization movement.


The Netherlands Cannot Supply Europe’s Cannabis Patients Single-Handedly

Netherlands Based on rising demand, Bedrocan, the sole remaining producer of medicinal cannabis in Europe, tripled its production with the opening of a new production facility in 2015. Nevertheless, the company cannot supply Europe’s cannabis patients single-handedly.


European Cannabis News

A roundup of various movement in cannabis legalization in Europe.

While in the Americas in the last few years we have seen several waves of liberal reforms in countries like the USA, Canada, Chile, and Uruguay, we rarely hear similar news concerning European countries. But cannabis legalization is also winning support slowly in European countries other than the Netherlands Spain and Portugal.

In the UK last month, Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb raised a bill for decriminalization of cannabis – a second hearing will take place on May.


Decriminalizing Cannabis Would Hurt Islamic State, Mafia- Italy Prosecutor

Decriminalizing cannabis sales would strike a blow against Islamic State militants and Italian mobsters who, according to ongoing investigations, are smuggling hashish together, Italy's top prosecutor told Reuters.

The main smuggling route for North African hash - compressed cannabis resin - now runs from Casablanca, Morocco, through Algeria, Tunisia to Tobruk in eastern Libya, said national anti-mafia and anti-terrorism chief Franco Roberti. 

Along that route is the seaside city of Sirte, which now serves as a Mediterranean base for the most powerful Islamic State (IS) branch outside Syria and Iraq. 


Is Italy Slowly Breaking Away from Cannabis Prohibition?

While the government continues slowly considering progress, some are taking Italy’s cannabis future into their own hands.

Anyone who has ever spent time in Italy knows that the country has some of the most draconian drug laws in the western world. When I studied abroad in Florence, for example, it took nearly a month to find anything to smoke.


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