Thursday, March 16, 2017

Cannabis Legalization Attempt Failed In South Tyrol

South Tyrol (Alto Adige in Italian) is an autonomous province in Italy with a population more than 500,000. Recently, in Bolzano, the capital city of the region, the libertarians issued a motion to legalize cannabis use, however, it was rejected by the South Tyrolian State Parliament.

“Alto Adige has to fight with a sprawling drug swamp,” Pius Leitner from the Freedom party said. “Almost every day, injuries or transgressions in the field of addictive drugs are detected. The consequences are serious, the cost of the public and personal issues. A major problem is the currently prevailing trivialization of drugs and the impetus of legalization. In addition, the massive mass migration has opened up new drug markets.”

When there is a left-wing government, there is a tendency to the legalization of light drugs, such as cannabis. Take the USA or the Netherlands for example. Now, in South Tyrol the Forum for Prevention wanted to legalize cannabis to avoid drug abuse in the autonomous region, however, it was opposed by the Center Bad Bachgart.

“Cannabis is a proven drug. Drugs abuse is a criminal offense. South Tyrol is not only a consumer country but also a transit country. The solution is not expected from a summit, but one would like the government to develop a clear strategy, which cannot be recognized so far. It is not an ideological debate but the protection of young people,” Leitner continued.

There was a hard debate among politicians regarding the case. Sven Knoll (Süd-Tiroler Freiheit) mentioned cases with empty syringes found in schoolyards. He advised differentiating between drugs in the application, including tobacco and alcohol.

“It is frightening how the consumption of hard drugs is always relativized, and also how many drugs circulated in the prisons. A survey on consumption and the drug market in South Tyrol would certainly be desirable,” he said.

“40 years of prohibitions are failing,” said Riccardo Dello Sbarba (Greens). “The more banned, the more drugs are consumed. I signed a referendum on the legalization of cannabis, which would help to reduce the damage, as now light and hard drugs would be sold in the same market, making the transition easy. If one takes the light drugs from the black market, the manipulation of these substances can be stopped, as well as certain business practices as the free dose in return for the mediation in the circle of friends.”

“We hope that experts already have an overview of the situation,” Andreas Pöder (BürgerUnion) said. “If you want to buy drugs, you can easily do it from the dark net, for example. There are good reasons for the legalization of cannabis, a ban is also hypocritical in a society that tolerates the hard drug liquor. Cannabis is an entry point if it is sold by the same dealer who also offers hard drugs. There are new synthetic drugs on the market every day, which is not covered by the prohibition.”

Despite the politicians’ effort, the motion was rejected with 12 yes and 17 no votes.