The cannabis wave is currently in full swing, and the whole world is trying as much as possible to take advantage of it.
The United States aside, Italy is another country where the legalization of cannabis, whether to grow or use for both medical and recreational purposes, has seen some dramatic advancement in a number of provinces.
However, in some of the primarily right-wing provinces such as South Tyrol, the motion to legalize cannabis has unsurprisingly failed.
Natively known as Alto Adige, South Tyrol is a not-so-small autonomous province in Italy with a population of over 500,000.
The motion was issued in Bolzano, the province’s capital, by the libertarians but was eventually rejected by the South Tyrolian State Parliament after succumbing to a vote that ended up with 12 in favor and 17 against the motion.
Open Disappointment over the Failure of the Cannabis Legalization Motion
Riccardo Dello Sbarba of Greens was quite vocal with disappointment at the failure of the motion to pass.
He pointed out exactly why he opted to sign the referendum on the legalization of cannabis, which is because banned substances always have a higher demand.
In his point of view, legalizing cannabis would have been an effective step in the war against the trafficking of drugs.
In places where the consumption of marijuana is illegal, it is often categorized with hard drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy, making it a lot easier for black market drug vendors to manipulate cannabis users into switching to more dangerous hard drugs.
Separating cannabis from hard drugs will make it easier to govern its use and also to stamp out the hard drug markets.
Another similarly displeased person was Andreas Pöder of BurgerUnion, who called the ban on cannabis hypocritical in a society where hard liquor is perfectly legal and tolerated.
He claimed that the legalization of cannabis would be a good way to get it off the black market and consequently, would cripple the drug trade significantly.
Pöder believes that most vendors use cannabis as an entry point before they start getting their customers addicted to harder, more harmful drugs eventually.
He also mentioned that the market is flooded with a lot of synthetic drugs that do not have the same levels of prohibition as cannabis, which in comparison, is much less harmful.
He was hopeful that the experts would have an insightful overview on the matter.
“Trivialization of Drugs is a Major Issue” – Pius Leitner, Freedom Party
On the other end of the scope, Pius Leitner, a member of the Freedom Party, expressed his concerns with the push to legalize cannabis, saying that the drug was being trivialized far too much despite the consequences it had on society.
Leitner pointed out that Alto Adige is drowning the recent mass migration, which has led to the opening up of a much wider drug market that threatens to swamp the entire province.
According to him, the crime rate is suffering in the wake of drug abuse and the consequences of drug addiction to members of the society are more than evident.
Leitner continued to say that marijuana is indeed a proven drug and that drug abuse remains a criminal offense in the eyes of the law.
The fact that South Tyrol is also considered a drug transit country did little to help its case.
In his opinion, the solution could not be approached in this manner as it would require the government’s intervention to form a more solid plan on how to deal with the prevailing cannabis debate.
He was adamant that his stand was purely for the benefit of young people who are most vulnerable to the drugs.
Raging Cannabis Debate Has No End in Sight
South Tyrol is ideally not the best place to launch a cannabis legalization campaign.
The autonomous province continues to deal with a serious drug problem, even in its schools, and that explains the general hesitance towards cannabis legalization.
Sven Knoll of Süd-Tiroler Freiheit pointed out that drug relativization is what makes cannabis so hard to accept in the province.
The discovery of syringes and bottles of alcohol in schools did not in any way reflect the abuse of cannabis and he advised people to differentiate drugs based on the application, not by generalization.
He is also the only member of the South Tyrol State Parliament who requested a comprehensive survey on the drug consumption in the autonomous region.