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Pro-marijuana civil disobedience campaign starts in Italy after historic verdict 

click to enlarge FILIPPO CARLOT, SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Filippo Carlot, Shutterstock

After the Italian High Court of Appeal ruled last last year that growing a small number of marijuana plants at home for personal consumption is not considered a crime, pro-marijuana organizations have announced a civil disobedience campaign to further fight stigma.

"Io Coltivo" (I Grow) encourages people to plant one seed of cannabis in a vase at home, sharing their action on social media with the hashtag #iocoltivo.



The organizers ask people to be at least 18 years of age and only grow one plant — and be willing to share their story if they get in legal trouble. The organization says it will provide legal counseling.

"More than an action of civil disobedience, this is an act of civil affirmation," spokesperson Antonella Soldo said in a statement. "Changing the law would contribute to making the Italian justice system fairer and more rational, to free useful resources which could be devoted to pursue worse crimes and to combat drug trafficking, depriving it of an important part of its market."

According to the Anti-Mafia Investigation Directorate, the majority of Italy's estimated 30-billion-euro drug market is controlled by mafia organizations. The organizations behind #iocoltivo say legalization would contribute take money away from the mafia, and provide taxes and jobs.

Marijuana is legal for medical use in Italy and decriminalized for recreational use, but unauthorized cultivation can be punishable by up to four years in prison.

More information is available at iocoltivo.eu.

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