A seriously ill man takes a drag from a medical marijuana cigarette, at

a protest event held by the Radical Italian Party, at Rome's Piazza

Montecitorio, Nov. 9.



On Pot and Gay Marriage, America Overtakes Italy (La Repubblica, Italy)


"It's a taboo, a debate that you cannot even engage in [marijuana legalization]. So as not to make fools of themselves, lawmakers prefer to remain silent, avoiding the subject. ...  Who knows? Maybe an imprisoned lawmaker will at last force parliament to act on the issue. Whoever buys cannabis for personal use from a drug dealer runs the risk of incurring a fine, while those who instead cultivate it, not wanting to deal with drug traffickers, risk up to six years in jail."


-- Rita Bernardini, Italian Radical Party MP


By Francesca Sironi


Translated By Barbara Usai


November 9, 2012


Italy - La Repubblica - Original Article (Italian)

Radical Italian Party lawmaker Rita Bernardini hands out medical marijuana at a pro-legalization event in Rome's Piazzo Montecitorio, Nov. 9.


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Mexico's president urges radical rethink on U.S. drugs policy, Nov. 13, 00:01:36.RealVideo

Same-sex couples, cannabis, scholarships for immigrants: from Colorado to Iceland and from Maryland to France, the world is moving forward quickly - while Italy remains in the Middle Ages.


"Good news for freedom." That was a tweet from an America which is more "liberal" than ever. In fact, with Obama's re-election, new states have voted in favor of gay marriage and saying yes to recreational marijuana use, while in Florida, the dismantling of the right to abortion has been prevented. A total of 170 referendums in 32 states accompanied the presidential election, where the citizens were called to vote on some decisive civil liberties issues.


And so gay marriage has been approved with large majorities in Maine, Washington and Maryland, while in Colorado and Washington state, 55 percent of the population said yes to the recreational use of cannabis. In the meantime, Massachusetts joined the 17 other states where medical cannabis is already legal, and Florida residents rejected Amendment 6, commissioned by Republicans, who sought to prohibit the use of public funds for abortion or health insurance to women who need it. And the good news isn't over yet. In Maryland, another referendum is bound to spark debate: the approval of a measure that will allow undocumented immigrants to obtain scholarships if they can prove to have attended high school for at least three years.


There was also some good news out of France, where Hollande has given his unequivocal support for gay marriage, guaranteeing that the new couples will have every right to adopt children, like all married couples. With France, there have become eight European countries where homosexuals have the same rights at heterosexual ones. Holland opened the dance with a law that went into force April 1, 2001, after a four year parliamentary commission.



"I was a strong opponent of gay marriage back then, I was scared," said Senator Hannie van Leeuwen on the law's anniversary last year: "But now, having seen so many gay and lesbian couples married happily, I realize how wrong I was."


Iceland is the most recent to approve a law in this direction: the very same day it went into force on June 27, 2010, Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurđardóttir married her partner. So while from Belgium to South Africa, same sex couples can celebrate their weddings, in Italy there is not even a question of civil unions. There are no records in some areas, but at the national level, every proposal is being rejected. And this is not the only issue parliament seems palsied over: even worse things happen when someone introduces the word "legalization," which is so appreciated in the states.

Posted by Worldmeets.US


"It's a taboo, a debate that you cannot even engage in. So as not to make fools of themselves, they [MPs] prefer to remain silent, avoiding the subject," Radical deputy Rita Bernardini said furiously. She's the one who decided to resort to civil disobedience to trigger discussion, with three saplings, now thriving, planted during a parliament press conference: "It was June 18. I was also interviewed by the CNN, which came all the way there to tell the story. But in Italy? Absolute silence. Even if every day I posted pictures of my plants on Facebook, the police would refuse to step in."


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So much so, that she is now ready to press charges against police for failing to intervene. That is because MP Bernardini, who has been on hunger strike for two weeks to bring attention to the problems in Italian prisons, wants to go to jail for ] growing: "Who knows? Maybe an imprisoned lawmaker will at last force parliament to act on the issue. Whoever buys cannabis for personal use from a drug dealer runs the risk of incurring a fine, while those who instead cultivate it, not wanting to deal with drug traffickers, risk up to six years in jail."


On Friday, she and her Radical Party will be in the Piazzo Montecitorio to call for an end to prohibition, and she will be giving her buds to the sick, because, she said: "They are the first to suffer from this parliamentary taboo. Pharmaceutical cannabinoids, even if legal in Italy, are very hard to find."



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[Posted by Worldmeets.US Nov. 27, 8:49pm]





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