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New drug policy from the new italian governement

  1. VincentVan
    Today ,june 27, the new italian health minister, Livia Turco, announced that the italian drug laws will be revised in a more liberal direction.
    To make things faster she said that a ministerial decree is going to increase, at least doubling, the amount of substances that can legally be possessed for personal use, specially the amount of cannabis derivates, while waiting for a totally new more liberal law.

    One of the last acts passed by the old Berlusconi´s governement, just last january, was a new more prohibitionist drug law.
    Written by integralist catholic jihadist ex-minister Giovanardi and neo fascist ex-vice premier Fini, among other monstruosities the law introduced administrative sanctions(Like driver´s licence or passport suspension) for users. Those sanctions are going to be scrapped too.
    The new minister for social affairs and solidariety , interwiewed by the national TV , expressed the opinion that heroin addicts should have a place where safely inject , and that soon he too will propose new policies aimed at damage reduction to be introduced discretionaly by the federal administrations. Considering that many important regions are administred by left wing coalitions that include the openly antiprohibitionist Radical Party, the future looks pretty bright for italian users.

    Obviously Berlusconi´s right wing opposition is up in arms. His newspapers and TV stations and likeminded media , have come out with titles like "More drugs for everybody" or " How the new governement wants to poison italian youth", and they promise a war to defend their stupidly cruel law.

    It will be intresting to see who is going to win this battle and specially how the italians are going to react.
    Italy and Spain are the only countries in Europe where two opposite ways of thinking and of conceiving politics and the role of the state and its institutions are confronting and battling each other , and where a new governement really has meant a drastic change in the politics of the country and in the life of the people.
    In both countries , by the way , the first action of the new coalitions was to announce the total withdrawal of their troops from Iraq.

    It seems that sometimes ,from some places some good news can still be found.

    "This is the new age of patent inventions- for saving souls, and for killing bodies"
    (Lord Byron)

Comments

  1. Alfa
    You made my day Vincent Van. I was hoping the new government would steer this way.
    I hope that the same happens next year at the elections in Holland. Otherwise it may be the end of the Dutch drug policy.
  2. The Doors
    This is great news for Italy and the Italians. It's great to see that some politicians are about the people and the act of freedom. At least they have the guts to stand up for what they think is right instead of being afraid of the repucaution(spelling?) it may cause. It will lead to difficult "relationships" with a few conservative countries thats for sure...
  3. Lunar Loops
    This was how it was reported in The Times (UK). Hardly a giant leap forward if you look at the amounts being talked about, but certainly a very small step in the right (or left as the case may be) direction. (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-2245854.html):

    Italy relaxes cannabis laws

    From Richard Owen in Rome
    [​IMG]Boosted by its overwhelming victory in the referendum on devolution yesterday, the centre-left Government of Romano Prodi has moved to dismantle yet another legacy of the Berlusconi era by overturning its “zero tolerance” drugs policy.
    The change will restore the distinction between “hard” and “soft” drugs, and will increase the amount of cannabis a person can possess without being arrested as a suspected dealer.
    NI_MPU('middle');During its first month in power the Centre Left, which won local elections last month as well as the general election in April, has reversed the policies of Silvio Berlusconi’s five-year administration on issues from Iraq to significant infrastructure projects.
    Livia Turco, the Minister of Health and a member of the former Communist Democrats of the Left, said today that she would act immediately on the amount of cannabis permitted, an administrative measure that does not require parliamentary approval.
    She said the amount of cannabis allowed for personal use — 500mg — would be doubled. Nearly 10 per cent of Italians smoke cannabis regularly, according to a recent survey. A third of Italian teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 say they have smoked it at least once.
    Paolo Ferrero, the Welfare Minister, who is a Communist, said he would ask Parliament to repeal the “zero tolerance” policy and re-establish the distinction between hard and soft drugs. The emphasis would be on “prevention rather than punishment” and “treatment and rehabilitation rather than repression”. This would help to fight illegal drug-dealing by the Mafia, Signor Ferrero said.
    However, Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, issued a warning this week that cannabis posed “health risks” similar to those caused by heroin.
    In the 2006 World Drug Report, he said cannabis had become more potent in recent decades and Governments that maintained “inadequate” policies “get the drug problem they deserve . . . Policy reversals leave young people confused as to just how dangerous cannabis is”.
    Daniela Santanche, a member of the Far Right Alleanza Nazionale — the moving force behind “zero tolerance” — said Signora Turco’s decision would “send a terrible message to young people that drug use is OK”.
    The new drugs policy has also raised alarm among Catholic members of the centre-left coalition. The Vatican objected strongly this month when Signor Ferrero suggested that Italy might introduce supervised “shooting galleries” where heroin addicts could inject themselves in a controlled, hygienic environment.
    A number of nations, including Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Australia and Canada, have supervised “drug-consumption centres”. But the International Narcotics Control Board says this appears to condone hard drugs and thus undermines the UN’s prohibitionist policies.
    Signor Ferrero also caused a furore recently by declaring that “many professional people in Italy, including politicians” use cocaine.
    Health experts say there has been an 80 per cent rise in cocaine use in Italy over the past ten years. There are also an estimated 300,000 heroin addicts.
  4. VincentVan
    The italian state television (Rai) visible also at rai.it or rainews.it, said that not just cannabis, but the permitted amount of all illegal substances will be at least doubled ( admitedly I have no idea of what it is at present), and the administrative sanctions scrapped.
    But what I think it´s great news is how the new governement decided to repeal a law voted just six month ago by the old parlament and to reverse 180 degrees the country´s policy on drugs, going from "zero tolerance" to "shooting galleries" and from emphasising punishment to prioriting damage reduction.

    VV.
  5. sadskills1987
    god bless Italia
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