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Cannabis Seed Struggles to Grow in Europe

The green tide of cannabis cannot be stopped and that is a fact. Many countries around the world are putting an end to the war on drugs, which has claimed more victims over the years than any other substance.

The US, as exporters of the "War on Drugs," is now moving closer to legalizing cannabis for all uses, including at the federal level. The same phenomenon is slowly taking place in the rest of the world. In Europe, prohibition is still widespread in most states. There are some nations that have courageously decided to legalize cannabis for all uses, such as Malta or Luxembourg, following the will of the people.

Germany, with some difficulties, is moving towards this process, which has the strong support of the German people. However, within the country, there is strong opposition, especially in the state of Bavaria, where Klaus Holetschek (Bavarian Minister of Health) declared that: ''The legalization of cannabis not only endangers the health of citizens but also violates European legislation''. In fact, Germany, together with other European states, has signed two agreements that oblige the German government to prohibit by all means the sale of narcotics: The 1990 Schengen Convention and the 2004 EU Framework Decision.

However, the most worrying situation is the Italian one with the installation of the new right-wing government presided over by Giorgia Meloni, a strong prohibitionist woman who is very much against cannabis. On the Italian mainland, cannabis has only been legal for therapeutic use since 2006, while recreational use is decriminalized, but users are still subject to heavy administrative sanctions that often compromise their work and social life.

Therapeutic use in Italy is also not well managed, since, as already foreseen in the 1990 Testo Unico on drug 309, the substance can be cultivated with the authorization of a unique national agency. The problem is that the State cultivates less than half of what is really needed by patients, who often cannot find the product in pharmacies and are denied their "right to health" because of a short-sighted government. The situation could improve with the legalization of self-cultivation of cannabis for patients, but this proposal was strongly opposed by the right-wing opposition in the 17th legislature.

The situation in Italy is irrational given that consumers (therapeutic and recreational) of the substance have to resort to the black market to buy cannabis since if a citizen decides to self-cultivate a few plants for personal use, thus ceasing to finance criminal organizations, he risks up to 6 years in prison.

Europe has been a major producer of cannabis throughout history. In the last century, Italy was the first producer of hemp in terms of quality (the most widespread variety was Carmagnola) and the second in quantity produced. If the whole of Europe decided to say "enough" to the war on drugs, a huge market could be created which, in addition to taking profits away from criminals, would create enormous jobs.

In the USA, this sector employs the most people, and cannabis in Europe could help workers and young entrepreneurs economically in this deep POST-COVID economic crisis. Europe, given also the deep energy and environmental crisis, could use this plant to produce clean energy with zero CO₂ emissions to the atmosphere. Unfortunately, the reality is different and the millions of consumers and enthusiasts of this plant are still treated as criminals when their fault is to love and defend cannabis. Jack Herer used to say: ''I don't know if cannabis will save the world, but it is the only one capable of doing so'', but the powerful and the prohibitionists keep trying to stop this green tide that sooner or later (hopefully soon!) will overwhelm them.

Fernando Bonanno, a university student of philosophy, scientific diploma, cannabis enthusiast, and scholar since 2019, founder of a cannabis brand called ''Orange Beard'' and the writer of a book soon to appear in bookstores dedicated to cannabis.

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