The Secretary-General of Italy's Radical Party, Jean Fabre was arrested in Rome on Friday (5 October) and charged with possessing and dispensing cannabis.
SV Jean Fabre, Secretary General of Radical Party speaking at news conference
GV Emma Bonino, party member, places cannabis plant on table
SV & CU Fabre lighting cigarette
SV Plainclothes policemen smilingly arrest Fabre
SV Fabre being led out of room, and police confiscating plant amid applause (2 shots)
GV Rock group "Piazza Navona" playing at rally for release of Fabre with a number of "Legalise Cannabis" posters in backgrounds (2 shots)
SV Radical Party official, Marco Panella addressing rally
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Background: The Secretary-General of Italy's Radical Party, Jean Fabre was arrested in Rome on Friday (5 October) and charged with possessing and dispensing cannabis. Mr. Fabre, a French citizen, could face between eight and 34 years in prison and be deported.
SYNOPSIS: Febre held a news conference immediately before his arrest. He publicised his party's policies on the legalisation of cannabis. The Radical Party is campaigning to have penal restrictions removed for smokers of hashish and marijuana, which the party claims are natural and unharmful. To demonstrate their point, one party member placed a cannabis plant on the table by Mr. Fabre, and he lit up.
But the police were not far away and a plain clothes officer asked Fabre to put it out. When he refused, Mr. Fabre was escorted out of the news conference by police -- to the applause of his supporters, who then turned their next gathering into an appeal for Mr. Fabre's release.
The rock group Piazza Navona playing at a rally to free Fabre. And here, too, cannabis was smoked freely, and the party's campaign to legalised cannabis found in receptive audience.
Another Radical Party official, Signor Marco Panella, addressed the rally, saying his party object to the police treating cannabis smokers in the same way as heroin addicts.