Politician Sparks Controversy Comparing Pesto With Cannabis

Italian Politician Sparks Outrage With Pesto - Cannabis Remarks

Pesto sauce. Credit: YuliiaHolovchenko/Shutterstock.com

A controversial statement by a politician has provoked a fiery debate and demands for an apology.

Italian politician, Mattia Santori, previously associated with the Sardine movement and now a Dem municipal councillor in Bologna, sparked a heated debate with his controversial remarks, according to La Stampa, Friday, September 15.

Pesto – Cannabis Comparison

Santori, advocating for legal cannabis, presented in court with a jar of CBD inflorescences and another of pesto, stating, ‘Both of these products are legal and Made in Italy.’

He further explained his stance, ‘Last Monday, after a government decree essentially labelled CBD as a narcotic, I suggested a visit to local businesses to gauge the economic implications of this decision.’ He believes that this is more of an economic injustice than a cultural one.

The Controversial Statement

Drawing a parallel, Santori said, ‘Here’s a jar of pesto from a renowned Italian brand and here’s a jar of CBD inflorescences from another. Both these companies are registered, pay taxes, employ people, and invest their own capital.’ He highlighted, ‘Both products come with “health risks“. For instance, the pesto label warns it “may contain traces of nuts”, potentially fatal for those allergic.’

Immediate Backlash

Stefano Balleari, leader of the Fratelli d’Italia regional group, was quick to respond, ‘Equating pesto’s effects with cannabis is the most twisted and self-damaging act an institutional representative can commit.’

Marco Campomenosi, a League MEP, expressed his outrage, ‘Santori’s audacious comparison, suggesting pesto is harmful for consumers, is deeply concerning. He should apologise for this regrettable incident.’

Alessandro Piana, vice-president of the Liguria Region, added, ‘It’s laughable to mix narcotics with everyday food items, but when a politician believes his own words, it becomes a serious concern.’

Alessio Piana, a regional councillor, and Francesca Corso, a municipal councillor, both from the League party, defended the traditional pesto alla Genovese. Paola Bordilli, Councillor for Commerce of the Municipality of Genoa, warned, ‘I urge councillor Santori to retract his statements and apologise. If not, we’re prepared to seek compensation for tarnishing our image.’

Santori’s Defence

Santori responded, ‘I’m addressing this because I can’t endure this constant targeting anymore.’ He believes he’s being misrepresented by certain narratives.

He challenges, ‘If anyone can pinpoint where I’ve insulted pesto, I’ll address it publicly. If not, I’d like a government representative, or even Toti, to discuss the real issue I’m highlighting.’ He questions, ‘Why are legitimate businesses now being equated with illicit sectors like narcotics?’

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.