I don’t rejoice about people ending up in prison but the police putting Dr. Giovanni Serpelloni, the former head of the Italian Anti-drug Department, DPA, under house arrest, is worth some comment. Not only was he a good friend of the US counterparts that -after the shift from the Republicans to the Obama administration- have tried to recycle themselves in the drug policy field and in the US-Italian scientific research that has been also greatly funded. They want to teach the people a lesson coming from Italy: “Don’t fool around with prohibitionists. We have our eyes on you!”
The war on drugs is a war against the people but it also serves more hidden goals. For instance the waste of public money in a system favouring on one hand the established society and on the other hand the friends of the politicians.
Dr. Serpelloni has been basically accused of having being elected irregularly as head of the Drug Dependence Unit and allegedly he tried to sell some software for the registration of the 200.000 registered Italian to the same public drug addicts structure he was working with. He’s also being accused of mismanaging money by dismantling the politically adverse “harm reduction” facilities.
Apparently his salary was not big enough, that he had to search for extra income from the same activities he was hired to accomplish. In the meanwhile, as Department Head, he also set up an Advisory Board composed by US and Italian scientists lead by NIDA director Nora Volkow. He managed millions of euros to feed the anti-cannabis propaganda preceding and accompany the so called ‘Fini Law’, by the name of the post- or neofascist leader Gianfranco Fini. This law equalled cannabis and heroin and it was cancelled on February 2014 by the Constitutional Court that ruled that the whole process of the law making was illegal without a drug policy discussion. The fact that the judges attack some people that have been protagonists of the war on drugs is not new. But in Italy, differently from Germany, there are a lot more people in prison for drug related issues and only a few for fraud and financial crime. That’s because of how the Italian system of class justice worked, but maybe this arrest shows that they are coming to their senses.
Again, prison is not a solution that we promote, but his actions and decisions made so many people suffer and he will probably never be tried for obstructing the peace process in the war on drugs.