The Lawyer Herald reported  January 18 2016

More than 250 lawmakers from across the political scale have shown support to a proposed decriminalization of producing, distributing, selling and consuming marijuana in Italy. If this will be pushed through, Italy will become the biggest European country to legalize marijuana. The new proposal also allows people to cultivate marijuana inside their house.

According to International Business Times, this new move of the country towards the legalization of marijuana has been found to be far-fetched from how they viewed the said drug 10 years ago. This is because they have voted for an anti-drug bill, removing any difference between soft and hard drugs. Sentences for pot smokers and heroin addicts were also increased.

Now, under the new proposal, people beyond 18 years old will be allowed to cultivate a maximum of five plants at home. The Local further reported that growers could also team up in forming ‘cannabis social clubs’ that comprises up to 50 people and 250 plants. Moreover, the farmers have to consume and share the product while notifying authorities about their activities. They are prohibited to sell and gain profit from it.

Others are allowed to store up to 15 grams of marijuana in their homes and carry a maximum of five grams. Higher quantities are also allowed as long as for medical use.

The cross-party committee of lawmakers Intergrupo Parlamentare Cannabis Legale crafted the proposal, said The Daily Chronic. A junior minister for foregin affairs named Benedetto Della Vedova then sponsored the proposal.

Meanwhile, it was said that the punishment for violators of the terms of being a medical grower has already been eased. As Justice Minister Andrea Orlando has put it, it does not decriminalize those who grow weed. Approved growers caught violating the terms will have to pay a fine rather than receive a prison sentence. However, those caught growing cannabis for personal use with no license might still be imprisoned for a year and pay a four-million euros-worth of fine.

Despite all these new proposals, some laws still remain. This includes the strict ban of smoking in public areas as well as the advertisement, export and import of all cannabis products.

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Italy legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes last year, but few patients signed up. The reasons, Reuterssays, include a stigma against pot smoking in Catholic Italy and, more pragmatically, cost. At the pharmacy, a gram of medical marijuana — imported from the Netherlands — costs about 38 euros ($48), versus about 5 euros ($6.30) a gram on the street. (That’s roughly $180 an ounce on the street vs. $1,360 an ounce in the pharmacy.)