Italy is going to start a national debate about the legalization of marijuana. One of the officials has recently announced that in case the country develops an effective system of cannabis taxation and regulation, it will be able to help in fighting mafia and Islamic State at the same time.
The new measure will be presented to the Italian parliament next week. Among the main aspects of the legislation are removing criminal bans on cannabis, giving permission to Italians to cultivate up to five plants and to buy weed from a government-run monopoly.
Franco Roberti, Italian anti-terrorism and anti-mafia prosecutor, said that if the bill passed, the smuggling route from Africa could be destroyed, thus fighting both terrorism and mafia.
Roberti’s appeal on marijuana legalization was put on the agenda when the Italian law enforcement agencies started to consider the fight against organized crime and terrorism as one, constructing a single persecution strategy. The decision was made because it became clear terror groups and organized crime usually acted in a similar way.
According to Roberti, international terrorism is financed by criminal activities that are also typical of the mafia, such as drug trafficking, illegal oil trade, smuggling archaeological relics and commercial goods, extortion, gun running, and kidnapping for ransom.
Italian citizens are likely to support the new measure, as 73% of legal voters support cannabis legalization, and 83% consider current drug laws to be ineffective. Moreover, the legislation has already been backed up by 220 MPs and 73 Senators even before the measure actually appeared in the 635-member lower house.
An estimated size of Italian black market for weed is tens of billions of dollars per year. The acceptance of the new measure will be a huge help to the country's economy by providing significant tax revenue and reducing crime.