Cannabis referendum, signatures filed with the Supreme Court. What happens now

The appointment is for the spring of 2022 when Italians and Italians will be called to vote for the referendum on cannabis. In fact, more than 630 thousand signatures collected in just over a month by the committee promoting the referendum on legal cannabis. «The response was extraordinary but not surprising: many young people took part, besides the 70% of the people who signed up are under 35. Subscriptions came from large cities but also from small municipalities. A homogeneity that underlines the importance and the interest of the topic », comments Marco Perduca, president of the promoting committee and member of the Luca Coscioni Association.

The next steps

ANSA / FABIO CIMAGLIA | From left Marco Cappato, Antonella Soldo and Riccardo Magi at the presidium of the Promoting Committee of the Referendum on Cannabis in Piazza Montecitorio, Rome, 28 September 2021.

People “ask us for a change, it is no longer possible to postpone” say Antonella Soldo and Riccardo Maggi of the Organizing Committee. “Due to the extension we have obtained for the submission of signatures, the other deadlines have been postponed by one month”, explains Antonella Soldo of Meglio Legale, a campaign for raising awareness on cannabis, to Open. The Court of Cassation will now have to examine the validity of the signatures filed, from 30 November to 15 January, while the decision of the Constitutional Court on the validity of the question is expected from 20 February to 10 March. For voting, the possible consultation window is from April to June. “Today is a day of celebration not only for us but for democracy: a success of participation that is achieved in a historical moment in which people are less voting, there is a lot of abstention, even among the youngest people, and the parliament has an obvious difficulty in moving forward on sensitive issues – what happened with the Zan bill proves it », comments Soldo, who is president of Radicali Italiani and coordinates the Radical Cannabis Club. 630 thousand citizens “And so many under 35 we have turned frustration into a referendum proposal, using the highest instrument of our Constitution to tell Parliament which country we would like.”

The question

Here is the question:

«Do you want the Decree of the President of the Republic of 9 October 1990, n. 309, concerning the “Consolidated text of the laws regarding the discipline of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of the related drug addiction states”, limited to the following parts:

Article 73, paragraph 1, limited to the words “cultivate”;

Article 73, paragraph 4, limited to the words “imprisonment from two to 6 years e”;

Article 75, limited to the words “a) suspension of the driving license, the certificate of professional qualification for driving motor vehicles and the certificate of fitness to drive mopeds or prohibition to obtain them for a period of up to three years; “?»

The question “aims to amend the Consolidated Law on Narcotic Drugs by removing the prohibition on cannabis cultivation, the prison sentences currently envisaged (from two to six years) for conduct related to cannabis and the administrative sanction for the withdrawal of the license in case of possession of a quantity for personal use », continues Soldo. It remains, “of course, drunk driving has been altered.”

The fake “war on drugs”

The large participation “tells us that citizens know this issue and that unfortunately they have seen its worst side up to now, with the criminalization that has brought only small consumers and drug dealers to prison and prevents the use of cannabis for curative use”, Antonella Soldo says again. The one carried out so far “was a fake war on drugs, cannabis, the protagonist of80% kidnappings without affecting the hardest drugs and the most dangerous criminals. We have been trying with these laws for 30 years: we have not scratched the market but hit the wrong target: it’s time to tell ourselves ». For this reason Soldo and Magi recall today the appeal that at the center of the next national conference on drugs scheduled for 27 and 28 November there will be “the evidence of the results of prohibitionist policies and the harmful effects of the current law”. “We will work to have the widest possible participation in the referendum: it is not a campaign that concerns only a part of the citizens, but the whole of society”, concludes Antonella Soldo.

On the cover ANSA | The collection of signatures for the referendum on the liberalization of cannabis organized by + Europa in Piazza del Pantheon, Rome, 9 October 2021

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