Farewell to Walter De Benedetto, symbol of the liberalization of medical cannabis

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He was one of the sick symbols of the battle for the liberalization of cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Walter De Benedetto, 50, died of cardiac arrest. He lived in Olmo, in the Municipality of Arezzo, and was suffering from one severe form of rheumatoid arthritis. In 2019 he ended up on trial because, during a raid on his home, the carabinieri had discovered a greenhouse where De Benedetto, in order not to turn to the black market, grew cannabis: he had been accused of illicit cultivation of cannabis, but had been acquitted in 2021. The dose allowed by law, in fact, was not enough for him to relieve the excruciating pain caused by the disease that afflicted him. The judges had recognized the cultivation not for the purpose of dealing but for medical use.

Walter De Benedetto appealed to the President of the Chamber Roberto Fico and the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella. Even after his acquittal, following the rejection of the referendum on cannabis, he again turned to Fico, to Fabiana Dadone, minister of anti-drug policies, and to Mario Pierantoni, president of the Justice commission: che asked to pass a law on the cultivation of up to four seedlings of cannabis for personal use.

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“We feel discouraged because it seems that our state prefers to leave 6 million consumers in the hands of organized crime rather than allowing them to grow their own plants at home,” wrote De Benedetto. “Pain does not wait“.

«The first time I was at Walter’s home» – this is how Marco Cappato, treasurer of the Coscioni association recalled him – «it was because he wanted to talk about his end of life. Since then, however, he has chosen to fight like a lion against idiocy and the violence of a state that brought him to the bar because he had to be treated with cannabis. He won his trial battle, we didn’t have time to win the political battle for the law with him in Parliament or with the referendum. Let’s move on, also in memory of him. Thanks Walter ».

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Source: Vanity Fair

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