The New Italian Hashish Contradiction


When it comes to cannabis, there are a lot of questions about what is legal in different countries. What parts of the plant can be used, and for what purposes… Recently, Italy put out two separate decrees related to cannabis, which set up the Italian cannabis contradiction.

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Italian cannabis

Italy is an example of a country with a veritable patchwork of cannabis laws. Using cannabis isn’t illegal, for example, but possessing it and selling it is. (This is one of my favorite discrepancies in cannabis law, and it happens all over the place). In Italy punishments for first time offenders are generally light, and repeat offenders generally only incur administrative penalties (like the loss of a driver’s license, or something of that nature).

As per the usual, sale and supply crimes are illegal. Offenders caught selling can incur up to six years in prison – a much lighter sentence than offenders caught selling harder drugs like heroin, where the penalty can be up to 20 years in prison. Hemp cultivation is legal in Italy. A clarification was made in December 2019 by Italy’s Court of Cassation to Italy’s Consolidated Law, which specifies that personal hemp cultivation is, in fact, not illegal. The specification states that cultivating small amounts of narcotic drugs is decriminalized.

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Beth Edmonds