The two biggest right-wing parties in Italy tried to block the upcoming referendum on cannabis decriminalisation on Wednesday.
According to Wanted in Rome, the right-wing Fratelli d’Italia (FdI), which is now leading in recent polls, and Lega “tabled a suppressive amendment” to block the progression of the petition that aims to legalise personal cannabis use.
The centre-left Partito Democratico (PD) and the M5S with the liberal +Europe party were able to save the petition, which was signed by more than 630,000 people. They rejected the motion, while Forza Italia, a centre-right party, didn’t participate in the voting process.
The FdI and Lega chose to submit the amendment because they thought the government shouldn’t have given the campaigners an additional month to gather more signings.
Reportedly the campaigners had until 30 September to gather signatures but it was extended until 31 October. The deadline is now passed and the signatures were submitted for approval by the Supreme Court of Cassation, Italy’s highest court of appeal.
Wanted in Rome says that activist Marco Cappato described the attempt as “sabotage” and “dirty tricks”, while another activist Marco Perduca said: “The coup is foiled, for now, thanks to those who voted solidly against it.”
What’s the plan in Italy?
Canex reported a few weeks ago that those behind the movement are proposing to legalise cannabis for personal use and ease sanctions on cannabis-related crimes that are now punishable by longer jail sentences.
It has been reported that cannabis advocates and campaigners have gathered enough signatures to hold a referendum and liberalise cannabis use in Italy next year – something that is not welcomed by the conservative and right-wing people in the country.
Even though the signatures will still need to be verified, it seems that there is no other hurdle in front of a cannabis referendum in Europe.