The Consolidated Law No. 309 of the year of 1990 is the national source that regulates the production, trade and use of drugs, as well as the repression of illicit activities, prevention of drug addictions and the treatment of drug addicts. From here we can start to explore the drug laws in Italy.
Narcotic substances are classified as legal or not according to their location in the lists drawn up periodically by the Ministry of Health; therefore, illegality does not depend on their effects.
More precisely, the following substances are illegal in Italy:
⦁ Cannabis derivatives (hashish, marijuana);
⦁ Ecstasy and similar products.
The envisaged penalty is imprisonment from 6 to 20 years and a fine from € 26,000 to € 260,000.
However, the foregoing does not apply in the case of only and mere personal use of prohibited substances.
On the contrary, the production, transport, prescription and use of drugs with narcotic action for therapeutic purposes, present in the list of the Ministry of Health, are admitted. These drugs depend on a different treatment, or rather are considered legal if they have specific authorization by the State.
More specifically, narcotic substances in Italy are classified in five tables:
Tables I, II, III and IV are connected to the sanctioning system for illicit uses and there are listed the narcotic and psychotropic substances placed under national and international control. Preparations containing the listed substances are also included in each of these tables, in accordance with the procedures set out in the table of medicines.
The fifth table or "Table of medicines" is the one of interest to the Pharmacist and contains the medicines of current therapeutic use for human or animals.
Drug laws in Italy: What drugs are decriminalized in Italy?
The decriminalization of drugs is a very present-day topic. The inadmissibility of the referendum on the decriminalization of cannabis (or the hemp plant) in Italy by the Constitutional Court is recent.
In Italy, the only legal way to take this substance is the use of cannabinoid-based drugs (made by pharmacies from dried and chopped cannabis flowers) necessarily prescribed by a doctor.
In addition, recreational use is permitted for marijuana.
In detail, the law on drugs in Italy allows the cultivation of Cannabis Sativa seeds intended for the production of textile fibres or industrial uses, which must however be certified and traceable. In the food sector, there are also foods that can be obtained from Hemp, as long as they fall within the THC levels that must be between 0.2% and 0.5%, in order for them to be considered legal or light. In this case, consumers cannot be punished if they purchase and use traceable products with THC levels not exceeding those considered legal.
Even the cultivation of very small quantities of cannabis at home has been affected by a decriminalization by the United Sections of the Supreme Court, with specific reference to cultivation for personal use only. This subject is currently classified as an administrative and no longer criminal offense.
Drug laws in Italy: Cannabis light in Italy
It is defined as "light" the substance comparable to cannabis and its derivatives with a very low concentration of THC, which exploits the relaxing, anticonvulsant, antidistonic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of CBC.
On January 12, 2022, an inter-ministerial decree was approved aimed at regulating the production of leaves and inflorescences in hemp plants. At first reading, the decree seems to impose a ban on the consumption of "cannabis light", that is hemp inflorescences with a legal THC content, equating it to narcotic substances. It should be noted, however, that the decree is purely administrative in nature and cannot be equated with the significance of legislative measures. In fact, at the moment, it has absolutely no impact because it does not have the same value as a law.
Drug laws in Italy: What can our law firm do?
The Arnone e Sicomo International Law Firm has an internal criminal law department. A team of Italian lawyers specialized in Criminal Law and in crimes related to drug trafficking, use and possession of narcotic substances, can provide assistance in all phases of the criminal proceedings, evaluating together with the client the best applicable defensive strategy.
Have you been accused of possession, use or trafficking of drugs? Are you looking for a drug trafficking lawyer in Italy? We can help you in criminal trial in Italy. Contact us.