Cannabis now a permissible Citizenship Income expenditure
ROME - Marijuana and smart phones are amongst the new items that beneficiaries of Italy’s recently introduced Citizenship Income scheme will be able to purchase with their state subsidy.
Investigations carried out by Il Messaggero revealed that those who have signed up to the scheme, since it opened in April, will now be able to use the money they are given by the Italian government to buy small doses of marijuana from cannabis shops, luxury gadgets and clothes. Previous permissible expenditures did not extend beyond buying food medicine, and helping to cover rent and pay off any debts.
The new provisions still prohibit beneficiaries to use the grant to purchase, amongst other items, weapons, pornography, boats, fine art and jewellery. The subsidy will also not be able to be spent on gambling or betting.
However, the decision to relax the regulation on spending has drawn sharp criticism from society and the government alike. Many have pointed out that high-end gadgets and marijuana represent expenditures beyond those of the families the income scheme is aimed at helping, while the relaxed approach on cannabis will likely prove a further sticking point in the relationship between the League and the 5 Star Movement (M5S).
The League have long been against the drug, and have strongly advocated the closure of cannabis shops across the country. Salvini and his party are likely not to take a shine to this new decision, one which political commentators have said is a move by the M5S to win favour amongst the Italian electorate following their bruising defeat in the European elections this month.