Italian Supreme Court Decision Just Legalized Personal Cannabis Cultivation

Responding to a court case concerning a two plant pot grow, high court judges lifted all of Italy’s criminal penalties for home grown bud.

Italian green thumbs were given an unsuspecting dose of holiday cheer last week, when the country’s high court passed a ruling that effectively legalized personal in-home cannabis grows across the European nation.

According to the New York Times, the groundbreaking court decision was handed down on December 19th, but was not published until after the Christmas holiday. The case in question concerned a Roman citizen growing two cannabis plants at his residence. Instead of handing down a criminal penalty pursued by police and prosecutors, the judge shot down the charges altogether, and all but overturned the country’s long standing cannabis prohibition law.

“At home, small-scale cultivation activities are to be considered excluded from the application of the penal code,” the court decision read.

The court has not yet made a clear distinction as to what will be considered “small-scale cultivation” going forward, but with this month’s ruling as precedent, home growers planting one or two cannabis seedlings are theoretically in the clear from police persecution going forward.

“It’s a very important decision, because it will shield from prison those who choose to cultivate marijuana for personal use,” Leonardo Fiorentini, a representative of the drug policy advocacy group Forum Droghe, told the Times.

Italy formally outlawed cannabis production, use, and possession in the 1990s, but in the decades since, the European Union member has since legalized medical marijuana, and even  low-THC recreational cannabis, which local users call “diet weed.”

Italy’s Supreme Court is expected to release a fully detailed ruling in coming weeks or months, which will hopefully give Italian green thumbs more firm guidelines on what qualifies as “small-scale” and other details of the de facto legalization decision.

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