legalisation of cannabis referendum rejected

Italian judges reject another public-requested referendum


On Wednesday, Italy’s Constitutional Court rejected another public petition for a referendum. This time the request for a public vote on the legalisation of cannabis was declared inadmissible.

On Wednesday, the Constitutional Court of Italy was presented with seven referendum requests. Two of them – for the legalisation of cannabis and euthanasia – were rejected outright.

The judges declared the petition to hold a referendum on liberalising the use of cannabis inadmissible.

Over half a million signatures on petition

The petition had gathered 630,000 signatures. This is well above the half a million threshold required to trigger a public vote.

The crux of the petition was to legalise the growing of cannabis for personal use and also to scrap prison sentences for selling small amounts of the drug. However, the constitutional court president told reporters that the referendum also referred to “so-called hard drugs.” He stated, “This was enough to make us violate international obligations.”

Riccardo Magi, a member of the liberal +Europa and a leading advocate of the cannabis referendum, told news agency ANSA the court’s ruling was “incredible.” He said, “In this country it is impossible to put forward referendums.”

Comes a day after rejection of euthanasia referendum

The court’s decision came the day after it rejected calls for a public vote on the decriminalisation of euthanasia. The argument there was that the proposal did not safeguard the minimum constitutional standards governing the protection of human life, “particularly for the weak and the vulnerable.”

However, the court gave the go-ahead to five referendum proposals relating to aspects of the justice system. They will be put to the public vote next year.

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