A few days ago Sensi Seeds, after consulting several reliable sources from the Italian media, confirmed that Milan was about to inaugurate the first Cannabis Social Club. Apparently, this was a hoax. They were supposed to be very good news for the cannabis community and spread like wildfire, occupying the front pages of several media from the cannabis sector. However, the announcement that several Italian national newspapers made in the recent days about the decriminalization of personal cultivation and the opening of the club, is not true.
A few days ago Sensi Seeds, after consulting several reliable sources from the Italian media, confirmed that Milan was about to inaugurate the first Cannabis Social Club.
Apparently, this was a hoax. They were supposed to be very good news for the cannabis community and spread like wildfire, occupying the front pages of several media from the cannabis sector. However, the announcement that several Italian national newspapers made in the recent days about the decriminalization of personal cultivation and the opening of the club, is not true.
It is true that the Italian Constitutional Court reacted strongly against to the strict Fini-Giovanardi law but, unfortunately, steps towards to the opening of clubs or a more flexible regulation about cannabis are still to be taken.
As always, Sensi Seeds will keep you informed about any developments.
For more information, you can consult the news, in Italian, in which it is denied the club opening.
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.
Life after the death of the Fini-Giovanardi Bill
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”.
The wished opening follows the Spanish example
Hence, the great symbolism of the first Social Cannabis Club opening in Milan. Indeed, since May 18th, 2014, smoking a joint in the Lombard capital won’t be illegal. The first association that has received a green light is “Cannabis and peace” which already plans to offer, on the day of the inauguration, a joint to every visitor. The prices, for those who register as members, will be quite affordable, since they will range from €7 per gram of marijuana and €9 for a gram of hashish.
The example of what is happening in Spain is, without any doubt, a great model for Italians. In Spain, the number of these clubs dedicated to smoking cannabis and hashish is increasing, and soon the same could happen in Italy.
The aim is that these clubs would be responsible for the management of collective cannabis plantations, so the cannabis that they produce would be consumed by the members themselves. In this way, these members, with their membership fees, will finance the production. Exactly the same way of management that Spanish clubs operate under.
The Italian Cannabis social clubs will be structured in two ways. They will have consumers of medicinal cannabis (those who use it for medical reasons) and then, the recreational cannabis users. The price for being a member will not differ, so both will have high quality cannabis at a reasonable price.
In terms of the access requirements, they will follow the logical rules. Members must be of legal age and own a membership card. A curious fact is that medicinal use members will not be required to be of legal age, and they will have access at a minimum age of 14. Also, to get a membership card from one of these associations, aspirants will be required to fill out a form respecting the stating rules, which indicate that it is a crime and the trafficking, distribution, and sale of cannabis in the street, is strictly prohibited.
Since one of the main objectives of these clubs is to avoid cannabis becoming a business for individuals, these associations want to make clear that they have non-profit aims. They do not want to be like the Dutch coffeeshops, and they do not want to diminish the quality of the cannabis they offer.
As has happened in other countries, the debate has been opened about whether the legalization of cannabis is really necessary or not. A great sector of Italian society says that the decriminalization of the consumption of cannabis, and other soft drugs, would solve, without any doubt, many problems related to addictions, unfair imprisonments, illegal detentions, and so on.
For this reason, those who are in favour of decriminalization are calling on the Government for a decree to legalize the so-called soft drugs. Italians only want crimes related to drug trafficking to be punished.
As other countries did, Italians take as a reference the United States, which estimated recently that its decision to legalize cannabis would give the State of Colorado, for example, a revenue of around $99.000.000. Impressive figures.
Sensi Seeds, as always, will remain attentive to what is happening in Italy and all over the world. We continue in our goal to support and follow all news and events related to the awaited legalization.