Cannabis lobby group ReLeaf has urged Prime Minister Robert Abela to safeguard the privacy rights of cannabis users in light of his pledge to set up a legal channel from which people will be able to purchase the plant.
“One augurs that personal rights linked to privacy will be respected and cannabis consumers provided with the legal safeguards to grow a number of cannabis plants for personal use,” ReLeaf said.
The group also called for the urgent decriminalisation of the importation of cannabis seeds and better coordination with customs and the police to stop detecting cannabis seeds in packages and arresting people afterwards.
Earlier today, Abela confirmed that an upcoming cannabis reform bill, which is set to be published in the coming weeks, will include a legal source from which people will be able to buy the plant.
He said that while a final decision still needs to be taken on what this avenue will be, he believes that the law should’t incentivise people to resort to the black market.
“Doing so would go against the spirit of the law,” he said.
The cannabis reform bill will be the upshot of a White Paper, published last March, which 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 7 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 and the establishment of a Cannabis Authority.
Although the White Paper doesn’t state where people will be able to purchase cannabis and seeds from, the Labour Party has proposed outlets, as well as social clubs which would grow cannabis on behalf of users.
Cover photo: Left: Prime Minister Robert Abela, Right: ReLeaf president Andrew Bonello
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