Medical marijuana growers in Italy can breathe a bit easier. On Friday, Italy eased the punishment for those who violate the terms for being a medical grower, reported the Local. Should Italian pot enthusiasts be tempted to grow pot for personal use, however, they've been warned.
"This does not decriminalize those growing weed on their terrace," said Justice Minister Andrea Orlando, according to the Local. Under the new bill, approved growers caught violating the terms will receive a fine rather than a prison sentence. But someone caught growing a personal crop without a license could still face up to a year in prison and a hefty fine of four million euros.
The new bill looks to lessen congestion in Italy's backlogged justice system and "make sanctions more effective," Orlando said, according to the Local. The eased marijuana laws were a part of a long list of crimes that were decriminalized in an attempt to ease the pressure on the justice system. The crimes include everything from obscene acts to driving without a license, according to Reuters.
The medical marijuana law will reportedly effect a small number of people who are mostly workers growing pot for use at a high-security lab in a Florence military compound. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's government said it had decriminalized hundreds of crimes to mere administrative infractions.
"It will free up courts from issues of little relevance," read a statement issued after a cabinet meeting, according to Reuters.
There has been a push for eased marijuana laws in Italy. Medical cannabis was legalized in 2013 for those with a prescription and more than 250 lawmakers in July 2015 gave their support to a proposal that would largely decriminalize marijuana in Italy. A website launched this week to recruit people interested in setting up a franchised pot shop should cannabis become legal in Italy by the end of the year.