Italy’s Plan to Legalize Weed Could Help Fight the Islamic State and the Mafia

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Italy is about to begin a national debate about legalizing marijuana, and one senior official is promising that, should the country forge ahead in regulating and taxing pot, it could be a blow to the Islamic State and the mafia at the same time.

Legislation will be introduced in the Italian parliament next week to remove criminal prohibitions on marijuana, let Italians grow up to five plants at home, and buy cannabis from a state-run monopoly.

If that bill passes, the smuggling route from the northern tip of Africa could be disrupted, according to Franco Roberti, the country’s top prosecutor in charge of fighting both the mafia and terrorism.

“Decriminalization or even legalization would definitely be a weapon against traffickers, among whom there could be terrorists who make money off of it,” Roberti told Reuters in April.

Roberti says this is because the mafia and “suspected terrorists” share smuggling routes in North Africa, and collaborate to move product into Italy and then throughout Europe.

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