Cultivation Of Cannabis For Personal Use Is Not A Crime, The Supreme Court Decides

Those who decide to produce cannabis in small quantities and for personal use at home do not commit any crime. This is what the United Sections of the Criminal Court of Cassation decided on 19 December last in an historic sentence, to say the least.

Growing Marijuana For Domestic Use In Small Quantities Is Legal

Although the reasons for the decision of December 19 have not yet been made public, this pronunciation is a real breakthrough in marijuana cultivation.

For the first time, in fact, it has been stated that “it is not a crime to cultivate small amounts of marijuana at home. Growing activities which, because of the rudimentary techniques used, the small number of plants and the small quantity of product that can be obtained, appear to be intended exclusively for the grower’s personal use’.

This shows that the cultivation of a few cannabis plants for the private use of the individual does not affect or endanger public health in any way.

Constitutional Court Opens Up To The Production Of Cannabis At Home

After the ruling on the marketing of light cannabis in Italy in September, the Constitutional Court takes a further step towards the recognition of the legality of the cultivation practice of these plants.

The recent ruling was based on an appeal to the Supreme Court to obtain the annulment of a conviction for the cultivation of two marijuana plants.

Over the years, the Constitutional Court has found itself on this issue several times, but – despite some more controversial rulings – it has always followed only one direction: the cultivation of cannabis has always been considered a crime. The number of plants involved, the active ingredient present and the purpose of production had in no way influenced the ruling.

Apart from all these mitigating conditions, the law had always followed only one path so far: “the cultivation of plants from which the active ingredients of narcotic substances can be extracted can be considered as dangerous, i.e. liable to attack the health of individuals solely because it enriches the existing supply of raw material and thus potentially creates more opportunities for drug dealing”.

Decriminalized Home Growing Of Cannabis Under Two Conditions

After the revolutionary hearing on 19 December, the production of marijuana at home is no longer considered a crime, provided that two conditions are met: cultivation must be in minimum quantities and for personal use.

The provisional maximum issued by the Court reads as follows: “The crime of cultivating narcotic drugs can be committed regardless of the quantity of active ingredient that can be obtained immediately, since the conformity of the plant to the expected botanical type and its aptitude, also in terms of the methods of cultivation, is sufficient to reach maturity and produce narcotic drugs. However, the activities of cultivation of minimum dimensions, carried out in domestic form which, due to the rudimentary techniques used, the scarce number of plants, the very small quantity of product obtainable, the lack of further indices of their inclusion in the narcotics market, appear to be exclusively destined to the personal use of the grower, must be considered excluded, as they cannot be ascribed to the scope of application of the criminal law”.

The green light is therefore given to cannabis crops with a limited number of seedlings, used for personal use only. It is thus recognised that the individual who grows a small quantity of this plant at home does not in any way harm public health.

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