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  1. 'Thousands of inmates' can soon be released under drug law

    28 May 2014
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    A new decree that overhauls Italy's drugs laws paves the way for releasing "thousands of convicted smalltime drug dealers from prison". The move follows parliamentary approval of a decree earlier this month that overhauls Italy's drugs laws and reclassifies marijuana as a soft rather than a hard narcotic. The new law also effectively removes jail time as a sentence for smalltime dealers, offering community service and other options in its place. (See also: Council of Europe lauds Italian moves on prison overcrowding)

  2. Italy's strict drug law goes up in smoke

    16 February 2014
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    On February 12, the Constitutional Court ruled that the Fini-Giovanardi law setting out penalties related to the sale and possession of illegal drugs, was improperly approved, and abrogated the law. Since then, Italy has returned to previous regulations that imposed lighter sanctions on cannabis users. Prisoners' rights organisations argued that harsh drug laws have created a booming prison population in a system that is already overcrowded. Since January 2013, Italy's prisons have been under the scrutiny of the European Court of Human Rights.

  3. Italy relaxes cannabis penalties

    12 February 2014
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    Italy's Constitutional Court struck down an anti-drug law from 2006 that imposed tough sentencing for the sale and possession of cannabis, putting it on the same level as heroin and cocaine.