The bill, introduced by Sen. Benedetto Della Vedova, was backed by 60 members, mostly from the ruling center-left Democratic Party but also from the right. Pictured is the Palazzo Montecitorio, the home of the Italian Parliament in Rome. Creative Commons
Lawmakers in Italy have taken a bold stance on marijuana legalization, signing a motion Monday to legalize cannabis across the country, according to the ANSA news agency. The proposal, introduced by Sen. Benedetto Della Vedova, was backed by 60 politicians, mostly from the ruling center-left Democratic Party but with some support from the right. Della Vedova himself, a senator who also serves as the deputy foreign minister, was a longtime member of Italy’s small but influential Radical Party, which has campaigned since the 1970s to liberalize marijuana laws.
“It is a bipartisan proposition from members of the parliament of different political backgrounds,” Della Vedova told reporters, according to The Weed Blog. “This shows that even in Italy, a pragmatic approach, based on a rigorous cost-benefit analysis, is now increasingly popular in the political and cultural debate, not only outside but also inside the parliament.” The proposal hasn’t been turned into a bill yet, but Della Vedova promised it will be soon.
Marijuana is already decriminalized in Italy, but remains illegal for either medical or personal use. Possession of small amounts of pot is considered a misdemeanor. Offenders typically face fines or have their drivers’ licenses and passports temporarily suspended, but those caught growing the plant can face jail time.