Finally, Milan is not only known for its imposing Duomo, its envied Fashion Week or its unbeatable soccer teams. From next May 18th 2014 the quintessential Italian city also will enjoy a Cannabis Social Club. The first one di Milano.
Although coffee shops have been a reality in the Netherlands for many years, nowadays they also exist in the United States and in Spain. This legalization has therapeutic and recreational aims and activists have been working towards the complete decriminalization of cannabis in several places in the world. Now it’s Italy’s turn.
Now Milan has permission to open its first “Cannabis Social Club”. This decision has come after long political discussions in Renzi’s Government and the repeal, by the Constitutional Court of Italy, of the Fini-Giovanardi Bill. The F-G regulation was approved in 2006 in the second Government of Berlusconi ,and equated soft drugs with hard drugs. Also this law used to impose sanctions that could be up to 20 years in prison and fines of €260,000 euros for selling cannabis.
At the time, the Democratic Party (PD), currently leading the Italian Government, applauded the Court’s decision, considering it “good news, because this law was passed by forcing procedures and it contained no common sense”, explained Sandro Gozi, Member of the PD and Vice President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Council.
The Constitutional Court decision affects, approximately, 10,000 detainees, some of whom are awaiting trial and others already definitively sentenced whom, with the new rules, could be released.
In fact, there are many who point out that this bill is responsible for the overcrowding in Italian prisons, which have about 65,000 prisoners when, actually, they have a capacity of about 45,000. In addition, 40% of the prisoners have been convicted for drug-related offences.
In words of the former Health Minister, Livia Turco. “Finally we have justice, finishing with this evil law that has led to thousands of young people to cross the prison threshold and become victims of criminal prosecution, only for having smoked a joint”.