Italy’s Police Union
Long Story Short
The largest police union in Italy just came out in support of cannabis legalization. The union is now the most recent group to voice support for Italy’s growing legalization movement. And an increasing number of law enforcement agencies in Italy see legalization as a way to fight organized crime.
Felice Romano is a spokesperson for the SIULP, Italy’s primary police union. He recently told sources that the Union has decided to support marijuana legalization.
Romano said that legalization would help police officers fight some organized crime operations in Italy. Recent reports found that the cannabis black market in Italy is dominated by criminal organizations like the Mafia. And some reports have even said that terrorist groups like ISIS have made inroads into both the European and Italian cannabis markets.
After the union’s announcement, it seems that Italian police have decided to stop pursuing the war on drugs. Instead, they now see legalization as an effective weapon against crime.
Growing Support For Legalization
The SIULP is the latest group to join Italy’s cannabis legalization movement. As a whole, the movement has been picking up steam in recent months.
According to a press release published in July, 83% of Italian citizens think the country’s anti-cannabis laws are ineffective. Sixty percent of Italians said the government needs new marijuana laws. And 70% said the government should legalize and regulate cannabis.
There are also a growing number of politicians who support legalization. “Prohibitionist policies have failed in their impossible aim to eliminate the use of drugs,” said Italian Senator Della Vedova. He also said that current laws “have not reduced the illegal market for cannabis.”
“Instead,” he explained, “organized crime has controlled the whole chain: production, processing, and sales. By legalizing marijuana, the State would cut off substantial income from organized crime and transfer the illegal profits to the State budget.”
In response to this growing support, Italian lawmakers have been working on a bill to legalize cannabis. Here are some highlights from the bill:
- Decriminalize possession of up to 15 grams of marijuana for private recreational use.
- Decriminalize possession of up to 5 grams for recreational use outside the home.
- People could grow up to 5 cannabis plants.
- The government would oversee the creation of cannabis clubs.
- The government would license a limited number of companies to produce and sell marijuana.
So far, the bill has been signed by 294 lawmakers. Politicians who have endorsed it come from both liberal and conservative parties.
A Different Approach
It seems that Italian police are taking a hugely different approach to cannabis than cops in the U.S. Instead of supporting legalization, many law enforcement agencies in the U.S. are fighting to keep marijuana illegal.
In fact, studies have found that police and prison guard unions are some of the biggest and most compatible donors to anti-pot groups.