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Monday, Jan 17, 2022
Mugglehead Magazine
Cannabis & psychedelics industry news based in Vancouver, B.C.
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International

Italian court certifies signatures to trigger cannabis referendum

The Constitutional Court still needs to issue an opinion and set a date for the vote, which advocates hope could come as early as spring

A pile of cannabis referendum pamphlets spread out on a wooden table
Cannabis activists gathered more than enough signatures for a referendum last year. Photo via ReferendumCannabis.it

An activist-led push to decriminalize cannabis in Italy has reached another milestone as signatures to trigger a referendum have been officially recognized.

On Wednesday, advocates with ReferendumCannabis.it posted that the Court of Cassation had certified the signatures, which exceeded the amount needed for Italians to head to the polls.

Now, there’s one last step — for the Constitutional Court to issue an opinion on Feb. 15 and set a date for the vote. Advocates have said the vote could be as early as this spring if all goes well.

“While we wait for the final ok we can’t stay hands in hand, so we’re starting to organize a national mobilization to inform all citizens that cannabis is better legal,” reads the Facebook post.

The efforts to trigger a referendum began last year when cannabis advocates set out to collect at least 500,000 signatures and initiate policy reform.

They turned in more than 630,000 in September.

Read more: Ballot to decriminalize pot in Italy gets enough votes to trigger referendum

Through the referendum, advocates aim to amend a 1990 law by removing prison sentences for most illegal conduct related to cannabis, and decriminalizing the cultivation of any substance. Organizers note on their website that this doesn’t decriminalize all drugs because most require subsequent steps to be consumed, and other laws around illicit production would remain.

The referendum would also get rid of a penalty that suspends people from driving or using a moped for up to three years if they’re found to be using drugs.

Using pot in Italy could result in a fine or losing personal documents, while selling and cultivating weed is punishable with prison time.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi recently said that the government has no intention of constituting itself against referendums.

Read more: Italy to decriminalize cannabis cultivation for personal use

Read more: Malta passes EU’s first cannabis bill legalizing personal use and cultivation

Last fall, Italy’s lower house justice committee voted to decriminalize the cultivation of up to four plants for personal use.

Italy’s Supreme Court ruled small-scale cultivation for personal use was legal in 2019, but that hasn’t changed any legislation.

 

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