“They start with Cannabis, ending with heroin.” This is a typical response stated by Italian politicans – their opinion is that those that make use of Cannabis will also use drugs such as cocaine and heroin.
In Italy, there is a clear divide in public opinion every time Cannabis is discussed between prohibitionists and antiprohibitionists. Due to this, it can sometimes be difficult to make a comparison based on objective data. In this article, we will aim to end five myths about Cannabis.
1 - “They start with Cannabis, ending with heroin.”
This is a typical response stated by Italian politicans – their opinion is that those that make use of Cannabis will also use drugs such as cocaine and heroin. However, it has never been scientifically proven that those who use Cannabis will later progress to harder drugs. Today, Cannabis is known to many and it is cliché to mark it as a gateway drug.
2 - “Economic sales of Cannabis are irrelevant.”
On many occasions, prohibitionists have been opposed to legalisation because they claim that in Italy it does not help fight the Mafia and therefore economic product from the legal market would be irrelevant. LaVoce.info, an Italian business newspaper, conducted a study taking as an example the case of Colorado where in the last year, thanks to the cannabis market, there has been an influx of between 5.8 and 8.5 billion Euro. Furthermore, in 2015 in America, the marijuana business was found to be one of the most important.
3 - “Revenues only come from recreational use”
This is another myth to deny because Cannabis and its extracts today offer a variety of products on the market. The military laboratory in Florence, for instance, will soon introduce the first Italian products based on Cannabis – providing another option for citizens who seek a solution to their problems. One example is CBD (Cannabidiol) - used by many to ease anxiety.
4 – “Legilisation will increase the number of marijuana users.”
Following the outcome in America, where marijuana has been legalised in 16 states, we can say that legalisation did not increase the number of consumers. On the contrary, legalisation has created a system of control and prevention with positive effects on the economic system. Economic resources that come from this new market have been invested in prevention policies for young people. The famous Italian oncologist, Umbero Veronesi, has spoken in favor of the legalisation of marijuana in Italy.
5 – “The legalisation of Cannabis in Italy is not a priority”
This sentence is an example of the many statements of the Italian anti-prohibitionist politicians. In Italy there are numerous problems - but the law on the legalisation of cannabis is an important occasion. In addition to the economic advantages that we have written about, there would also be advantages for the police. For example, they would no longer need to spend time on the prosecution of marijuana for medical purposes in the home. Lastly, Raffaele Cantone, an Italian magistrate for anti–corruption, also argues that: “...legislation will help many young people to stay away from organised crime.
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