Europe: Italian Ministers Announce Drug Law Revisions 6/30/06

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!


http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/442/prodibill.shtml

Ministers from the freshly elected government of Premier Romano Prodi said Monday they would move quickly to reform a harsh drug law passed in the waning days of the previous Silvio Berlusconi administration. Known as the Fini-Giovanardi law after the neo-fascist politician who sponsored it and the Berlusconi minister who pushed it, that law erased the distinction between hard and soft drugs and set personal drug use quantity limits so low as to render many drug users subject to prosecution as drug sellers.

Livia Turco
At a conference marking the United Nations' world anti-drug day, Welfare Minister Paolo Ferrero said he would turn the previous government's zero-tolerance policy on its head, according to the Italian news agency ANSA. A bill he has introduced would reinstate the distinction between hard and soft drugs and "clearly" divide drug use from drug dealing, he said. The new law would emphasize harm reduction as well as combating drug trafficking, Ferrero, a member of the Communist Refoundation Party said.

Health Minister Livia Turco isn't waiting for legislative action, she told the conference. Turco said that while Ferrero's bill worked its way through parliament, she was acting immediately to take administrative measures to ease enforcement of the law. One such measure would be to raise the amount of marijuana a person can possess, she said. Under the Fini-Giovanardi law, people holding more than about five grams of marijuana can be charged as drug dealers. (The law actually specifies ½ gram of the active drug, THC; with pot at 10% THC content, it would take about 5 grams to come up with a ½ gram of THC.)

Turco also proposed a renewed emphasis on prevention, drawing the support of Minister for Youth Policies and Sports Giovanna Melandri. "The minister for youth policies is ready to play an active part in the work of drawing up such a plan", stated Melandri. "I am convinced that it is necessary to oppose the repressive culture of the Italian right, of which the Fini-Giovanardi law is a sign, with a culture of prevention and a strategy of social welcoming for the person and the families who live through the drama of drugs. It is the intention of this government to put an end to the era of demagogic proclamations and to start an era of serious policies in the struggle against drugs," she said in a statement quoted by the Italian news agency AGI. "From this point of view, I share the intention of Livia Turco to raise the maximum quantity of cannabis detainable without incurring the presumption of dealing, decriminalizing the consumption -- also for therapeutic purposes. Turco is moving in full harmony with the Union manifesto, agreed by all the parties in the current majority. The full commitment of the state needs to be directed towards the fighting and repressing traffic in drugs and towards the breaking up of criminal interests connected to this."

Both Ferrero and Turco have already raised the hackles of the rightist parliamentarians responsible for the current law. Earlier this month, Ferrero suggested Italy might follow the example of several of its European neighbors and introduce safe injection sites for hard drug users, and Ferrero caused a stir of outrage by suggesting that many professional people, including politicians, had used cocaine.

Ferrero was "pandering" to far-leftists who want to legalize drugs, rightist deputy Alfredo Mantovano of the National Alliance (AN) told ANSA. "Ferrero sees free pot and shooting-up as the one alternative to the centre right's reform," he claimed.

AN's Daniela Santanche struck out at Health Minister Turco, saying her decision to ease enforcement of the Berlusconi drug law pending the passage of legislation was "extremely serious" and "it sends a terrible message to young people."

But those are the people who lost the election. They don't have the votes to stop this, unless moderates in the governing coalition crumble.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #442 -- 6/30/06

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!

Feature: Reefer Madness from the United Nations on International Anti-Drug Day | Feature: Summer Music Festival Season is Here, and So Are Police Checkpoints -- Know Your Rights! | Follow-Up: Medical Marijuana Gains Support in Congress -- Slightly -- Some Surprises | DRCNet Book Review: Race to Incarcerate, Revised Edition," by Marc Mauer (2006, The New Press, $15.95 PB) | "Scoops" in Drug War Chronicle Last Week | Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Law Enforcement: Revelation of Major Sleaze Among "Operation Lively Green" Informants, Cover-Up by FBI Agent | Newsbrief: California Legislature Votes to Gut Prop. 36 -- Court Challenge Imminent | Harm Reduction: Responding to Wave of Fentanyl Overdose Deaths, Senator Durbin Proposes OD Prevention Bill | Hemp: California Industrial Hemp Bill Wins Another Committee Vote | Europe: Italian Ministers Announce Drug Law Revisions | Southwest Asia: Iranian Official Says Country Could Ignore Drug Traffickers if UN Doesn't Up Anti-Drug Aid | Web Scan: Government Waste, Len Bias Legacy, World Drug Report, Zogby Poll, John Stossel, Steph Sherer, Nathan Riley | Weekly: This Week in History | Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar

Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]