ENCOD BULLETIN ON DRUG POLICIES IN EUROPE
DRUGS IN EUROPE
I have met after ten years Dr. Fabrizio Cinquini at the Indica SativaTrade, the Cannabis Fair of Bologna. I knew of his persecution by the Italian justice due to his research on the on new cannabis medical strains. Home growing is still a crime in Italy when things seem to conflict with the Vatican and unfortunately I had not been able to get in touch with him during his prison time. He is now awaiting the decision of the Higher Court. Everybody here hopes in his acquittal.
Another Fabrizio, Mr. Pellegrini is also on his way to be punished for having cultivated some plants since he is a patient starting to use cannabis before 2007 when it was made legal, but ever since mostly unaccessible to the poor since he cannot afford the horrible prices of medical cannabis that in Italy might cost even 70 euros a gram.
Few hours after my encounter with Doctor Cannabis I found out that a very important scientific conference on effects and uses of cannabis both medicinal and recreational had been totally baffled by the state tv report on the event. Because of the exaggerated content the video soon a viral phenomenon since the TG3 launched the umpteenth alarm for a new terrible drug and in this case they got a very common one: THC
Almost a week later, also because of the protests of the organisers and scientists of the well managed meeting, some of them hired in governmental drug advisory boards of the Italian government, the same tv station published a complete corrigendum. End well, everything well?
To be honest, the whole media system in Europe should operate a substantial change in the reporting on drugs and drug policies. It is not a case that the reports on UN drug policies meetings are very limited and that even the last CND in Vienna or even UNGASS 2016 in New York went almost unnoticed despite its utter failure . And the Italian case of the local tv represents just the tip on iceberg of the general media hype. For the moment we can laugh about it but this satisfaction is of a sorrow kind.
Also on crime and its reporting there have are continuously blatant cases of distortion in the local press.
Normalising possession and growing of plants for adults and personal use could bring down the stigma, favour the economy and even make possible that local transportation becomes more efficient to avoid alcohol and drug related casualties. Italy and Europe could finally thrive as an area of culture and freedom that could re-emerge from the dark centuries that have quite soon accompanied the invention of the modern printing technologies.
Long before the criminalisation of plants and after 50 years from the inception of the printing technologies, Italy and particularly Venice that had for years some a head start position in Europe, was thrown back in the Middle Ages by the Inquisition. Most scientific publications were outlawed and even the bible in Italian was banned. Many scientists left the country and this process continues even nowadays.
Consequently after the introduction of state and church censorship most of the books were printed underground or illegal imported. Some of them with false covers or with a colophon announcing they were printed in the Netherlands.
It is still very dark in Italy especially reflecting on the possible prohibition of cannabis seeds announced by the agricultural commission.
On the aftermath of an audit on cannabis legalisation where no recreational cannabis users organisations were invited, the law proposal of over 200 Italian representatives, far from being perfect ,will go through some closed door meetings and possibly be swallowed by the dark mist of parliamentary intrigue. Or even turned sour.
Most probably, as in the case of the liberated slaves of Frigia, once we will be back as citizens and not as targets of repression we should present to the actors of the war on drugs an incredibly large bill for the persecution of witches, heretics, indigenous people in the first place and then of patients, doctors and free thinkers.
Having said that. How could I demonstrate to dr. Cannabis my complicity for something that makes our souls free? as written in the book he personally dedicated.
The big feeling of outrage sometimes turns into useful rage. How can we turn this anger about the oppression into a peaceful weapon?
Journalists, patients, medical doctors should overcome centuries of censorship and of self-censorship that have cut off Italy and many other countries from science and reason.
What is the relation between forbidden books and forbidden substances? Doctor Cannabis. The story of an anti-prohibitionist doctor is not strictly a book on medical cannabis but rather the denunciation against the social repression against a young man in the process of becoming a chirurg. Fabrizio Cinquini is not the stereotype of the typical stoner: He is a very fit and energetic man, an expert of martial arts and has a healthy life style. More than prosecuting him for having continuously grown cannabis looking forward to discover therapeutical benefits, the Italian authorities should consider to prohibit his book.
Think for your self, question authority (Timothy Leary)
By Enrico Fletzer – ENCOD Steering Committee
News from the Secretariat:
Enrico Fletzer and Richard Rainsford will be in Salerno, Italy on Sunday 12th June to present to the MAC (Movement Activist Cannabico) community at 13:00. We will discuss the establishment of Cannabis Social Clubs and the formation of a Cannabis Association for Italy.