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Medics and patients hail end of strict drug law

Cannabis 'used to alleviate pain from multiple sclerosis'

12 February, 19:47
Medics and patients hail end of strict drug law (See related) (ANSA) - Rome, February 12 - A number of medics and patients praised the Constitutional Court's ruling Wednesday against an Italian law that set harsh sentences for possession and sale of illegal drugs. The 2005 Fini-Giovanardi law equated Class A drugs such as heroin and cocaine with lesser classified substances such as hashish, and therefore made defendants liable for the same penalties if convicted.

Among the supporters of legalizing marijuana was Maddalena Migani, 36, who uses cannabis to alleviate pain from multiple sclerosis, and Fabrizio Cinquini, a surgeon sentenced to six years in jail after reporting himself to the police for growing marijuana for therapeutic purposes.

Many doctors and patients had recently posted an online petition via to legalize cannabis for medical uses that drew in over 85,000 signatures. Cinquini, who began growing cannabis for self-treatment after being infected with hepatitis C while caring for a patient in an ambulance, said that "Italy has finally become a civilized country and stopped filling jails with those sentenced under the Fini-Giovanardi law".