Ahead of the upcoming parliamentary debate on cannabis reform, former PN councillor Alan Abela-Wadge has urged politicians to keep the debate free of partisan politics.
“I remember a time when I was younger and dreamed of politics and the change it can influence in people’s lives,” Abela-Wadge said in a comment under a Lovin Malta article.
“Then in my late teen years I got involved in active politics and realised how from that day onwards, everything one dare touches will be tainted with a pinch of blue or red.”
“Years later (and a few decades as I’m getting older now) and when I’m out of the politicking of it all I still dream of seeing a law passed without the mention of blue and red but by truly seeing the genuine impact that it will leave on society.”
Abela-Wadge, who is known to be in favour of progressive policies, endorsed the proposed cannabis reform and dismissed concerns that it will lead to a rise in usage among youths.
“Reforming Cannabis usage in Malta will not introduce cannabis to our teens, it’s here already,” he noted. “It will control and reform it in a way that its a cleaner, controlled and less dangerous product.”
Reforms Minister Owen Bonnici has said that he intends to propose a cannabis reform bill shortly after Parliament reconvenes in October, a few months after a White Paper was released for public consultation.
The White Paper proposes that people should be allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants at home and that users found in possession of up to 7g of weed will no longer be arrested or prosecuted, up from the current 3.5g limit.
Those found in possession of between 7g and 28g won’t be subject to court proceedings but will be subject to proceedings in front of a tribunal, where they can be fined between €50 and €100.
It also proposes the expungement of criminal records related to cannabis possession, the establishment of a Cannabis Authority and an unspecified legal avenue from which users will be able to purchase cannabis and seeds.
After several people and stakeholders participated in a public consultation process, it remains to be seen whether the government will amend certain principles.
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