chapter  8
14 Pages

Italian drug policy

ByGrazia Zuffa

The target of the criminal law was the illegal trade of psychoactive substances, while possession and personal use were not considered crimes. Article 729 of the 1930 Penal Code provided fines for 'whoever is caught in a public space in a condition of serious psychic alteration for abuse of psychoactive substances'. As drug use began to rise, particularly cannabis use among youth, the shortcomings of a legislation exclusively focused on criminal law enforcement became clear. The complex system of administrative sanctions instituted for possession of amounts of drugs below the daily average dose is worth noting. Harm reduction was evolving as a sort of ancillary strategy to traditional treatment, limiting the ability of drug services to connect with different typologies of users. Decriminalisation of drug use following the 1993 referendum was in force until 2006. The reform movement advocated a comprehensive revision of the drug legislation including milder penalties for drug dealing.