In view of the discussion that took place in Parliament on the legalization of cannabis on Monday 25th of July 2016,
the Community of San Patrignano, with almost 40 years of experience in the field of prevention and recovery from drug addiction, reaffirms its absolute opposition.
The bill was only proposed to solve an economic problem, to bring new money to the treasury of a suffering State. The State must, however, have very different priorities concerning youth unemployment, integration, security, transport, without forgetting its educational role. It cannot abandon the youth and run the risks of being exposed to narcotic drugs, especially in a historical situation such as this, where families and schools struggle to fill the role of educational agencies. The State must therefore be the first to have to erect safeguards, to have the courage to say no.
The act of legalization is increasingly going towards the normalization of drugs with a very wrong message to all teenagers.
Removing customhouse impact to the use of a very harmful substance that on one hand, is damaging the cerebral level, being especially harmful when taken at the age of development, and on the other hand it’s often the gateway to other substances.
From our experience the first contact with cannabis, happens as early as 12 and 13 years old. With regards to last year, San Patrignano hosted 10 residents who only used cannabis, all underage or recently becoming an adult.
Unfortunately we are sure that with the legalization, the consumption would only increase.
We can notice in Colorado, where the consumption increased from 27 to 31 percent over a three year period (2011-2014). With the legal gambling policy in Italy, with an increase in gambling of about 90% over the past five years, liberalizations have benefited again from the state treasury, but have created a social problem.
Finally, as Paolo Borsellino had already mentioned, there would be no struggle for the Mafia and other criminal activities to reorganize. In the first place, they would continue to control the market of all other drugs; in addition with the legalization there would be an increase of cannabis users, hence they would more likely find ulterior customers for other substances. Furthermore, it is known that crime would continue to manage the cannabis market for a price below the policy market, which has happened in Colorado, and we are confident that the poorest citizens would still be the majority users.