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Italy: Supreme Court rules that growing cannabis for personal consumption is not a crime

Published February 27, 2023

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NIn a landmark decision, Italy's Supreme Court of Cassation ruled that growing a small number of cannabis plants in the backyard does not constitute a crime. The decision came in response to an appeal made by a young man, who had been accused of possession of narcotics. The Naples Court of Appeal had previously partially revised the initial verdict and acquitted the accused of the crime.

The last decision Published on February 24th, marks a shift in the Supreme Court's approach to cannabis-related offences. The judges noted that the defendant was a regular user and that there was no evidence to suggest that the cannabis he was growing was intended for sale or distribution to third parties. Furthermore, cultivation was carried out using rudimentary techniques, resulting in a limited number of plants and a negligible amount of the substance.

By applying these criteria, the Court confirmed the harmlessness of the defendant's behavior. They acknowledged that the substance found was intended only for personal use, with no indication that the defendant intended to sell or distribute the product. Furthermore, cultivation was limited in scope and carried out using basic methods.

This landmark decision sets a precedent for similar cases in the future. Recognizes the growing acceptance of cannabis use for personal reasons and recognizes the minimal risk posed by small-scale cultivation for personal use. The decision was welcomed by drug policy reform advocates, who see it as a step towards a more rational and evidence-based approach to drug laws.


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