Italian laws are pretty strict as far as cannabis is concerned, however, the possession of amounts for personal consumption is not even felony but can be punishable by fines. In 2013 the medicinal use of cannabis was approved.
Cannabis use in Italy, despite being illegal, is widespread, as in many other countries. In many cities even the police often turn a blind eye and did not even verbally warn the person who is smoking marijuana. But here, as elsewhere, common sense is always recommended, and it is advisable not to carry large amounts of marijuana, just in case.
A study by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs carried out in 2011 among people aged 18 to 64, revealed that 32% had tried cannabis at least once in their life. The study also showed that cannabis was the most popular illicit substance among young Italians.
The limit, 1.5 grams
Possession of cannabis intended for personal consumption is not penalized, although it may be sanctioned with fines, suspension of identity documents, or a court order for rehabilitation treatment. The possession limit is 1.5 grams of marijuana, estimated this as daily consumption. Though be aware that if they catch the same person several times over cannabis, could reach sanction him.
The penalty for selling cannabis ranges from 2 to 6 years in prison and the fine can reach 75,000 euros.
In the middle of last year (2015), more than 200 Italian parliamentarians supported a bill to regulate cannabis advocating for allowing cultivation, consumption in private places and the sale in state stores (selling among citizens would be banned ).
The text prohibits the possession of marijuana to minors, but over eighteen years may be up to 15 grams at home and may take 5 grams in the street. As regards the cultivation, the bill says that a person can plant at home before five plants if it has informed the State. Moreover, the text opens the cultivation associations and says it can grow in partnership entities that can have up to 50 members with 5 plants each. Anyone who does not comply with the proposed regulations would be subject to fines rather than criminal charges. In addition, revenues from fines would be devoted to educational and rehabilitative programs. Smoking marijuana in public or open to public places such as parks, is prohibited and it is said in the text that driving under the influence of this drug is punishable.
This bill also provides for the establishment of Cannabis Social Clubs that may have up to 50 members and have 250 plants in total, similar to cannabis clubs already operating today in Uruguay and Spain.
So far this text has not been approved and the legislation on cannabis continues as before.
What we do is already underway is the text promoted by the Ministers of Health and the Italian Defense country that advocate the national production of preparations of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes. There are now 200 square meters for state greenhouses to produce up to 45 kilos of cannabis which will go to pharmacies that request based on those medical and scientific purposes mentioned. In this way, Italy is now the only member state of the UN managed public production of marijuana.
We should add that all this legislation affecting pharmaceutical should go through the approval by health officials to accept Italian recipes medical health cannabinoids for doctors to prescribe cannabis to patients, for example, multiple sclerosis , glaucoma, muscle spasms, pain …
Just a few days ago (on January 15, 2016), the regulations on centers they can use cannabis for medicinal purposes was modified, so it seems that little by little, is in effect the new rules with regard to cannabis used for therapeutic purposes.
Although cannabis grow personally without authorization is still crime, last year an Italian citizen was acquitted for growing marijuana on the balcony of his house and that, as for medicinal purposes, was not considered a crime. The incident took place near Turin when a resident of this city they discovered 12 marijuana plants on the balcony of his house. He even be under house arrest until finally the Turin court acquitted him because it seems that man cultivated this plant for therapeutic purposes. The defendant admitted that the cultivation of marijuana was not to sell, but simply to treat diseases which are affected. This statement, of course, sets a legal precedent for self-cultivation in Italy.
Just over two years ago, two young men were also acquitted in Italy to have 4 marijuana plants at home and 9 grams of cannabis. The acquittal saying that plants did not meet the minimum dimensional for the personal use of a consumer. The judgment recalls that the substance was owned by the two defendants and was used for personal use. In addition, it is also said that the plants were grown because young people were tired of having to look for the marijuana on the street, with the risks and disadvantages that implies. And behind that economic activity it had no need or desire to sell the ‘harvest’.
By Noelia Jiménez, Team Piensa En Verde