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Govt reinstates distinctions between hard and soft drugs

Marijuana offenders to receive lighter sentences

14 March, 13:12
Govt reinstates distinctions between hard and soft drugs (ANSA) - Rome, March 14 - The cabinet on Friday approved a decree that reintroduces illicit drug classifications outlining penalties according to which type of narcotic is found in someone's possession. The measure follows a supreme Court of Cassation decision last month that threw out as "illegitimate" a 2005 law that equated the possession of soft drugs to heavy drugs and was blamed as a contributing factor to severe overcrowding in Italian prisons.

"The cabinet voted to bring back the classifications because a void had been left following the Cassation's ruling," said Minister Beatrice Lorenzin. Now the law distinguishes between hard and soft drugs, with lighter sentences for substances such as marijuana.

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