Malta to decriminalize cannabis, Prime Minister announces


Prime Minister to introduce bill to regulate responsible use of cannabis in Malta

Malta's Prime Minister Robert Abela today announced that cannabis users may soon be able to grow their own plants and avoid police arrests for possession, as the government prepares to legalize "responsible use" of this substance.

Malta to decriminalize cannabis

The Prime Minister presented these proposals Thursday morning, during a business breakfast on employment, addressing journalists.

"The reform proposes the elimination of police arrests for personal use of cannabis," the Prime Minister's office told Lovin Malta in a written statement.

“By pushing the limits of possession to reasonable levels, consumers will avoid police questioning and prosecution. The government is also considering allowing the cultivation of a small number of plants strictly for personal use ”.

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After the arrest of a couple found in possession of cannabis in a hotel on Valentine's Day, cannabis reform has been the subject of intense debate in the island state of Malta in recent days. After the descent, photos from a press release showed just a small bag of weed.

The arrests drew widespread criticism, with many believing the police action to be drastic. MEP Roberta Metsola wrote in a tweet: “Do we really continue to charge teenagers for smoking a joint? If only we tackled the corrupt with the same fervor, our country could just move forward… ”

The Maltese Labor Party has included in its election manifesto a pledge to start a discussion on legalizing cannabis, but the Prime Minister's announcement marks the first time that a government official has given a clear indication of the direction the EU will take. promised reform.

A momentum for change has taken hold in the country, thanks to groups such as the community non-profit NGO ReLeaf Malta. Founded in 2017 by a group of Maltese citizens, ReLeaf called on the government to change draconian laws that criminalize people who use cannabis and to push forward legislative changes further to the original changes passed in 2015.

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Addressing Mr Leafie, ReLeaf Chairman Andrew Bonello welcomed the Prime Minister's latest announcement: “ReLeaf Malta is very happy to Prime Minister's statement declaring that legal amendments will be introduced in the coming weeks to ensure respect for the human rights and privacy of people who use cannabis ”.

Cannabis reform will allow users to grow plants for personal use

“It is important that the government move towards a decriminalized system, as opposed to a decriminalized system, and ensure that cannabis users are no longer harassed by local law enforcement officials or end up in prison for growing a few plants. ReLeaf Malta will continue to engage with key government officials and other key stakeholders to ensure respect for the human rights of cannabis users and the establishment of a regulatory system based on social equity and durability ".

Tags : decriminalizationLawMalta

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