Malta’s upcoming cannabis reform will end the arrests of people for smoking a joint but won’t “incentivise” people to use the plant, Prime Minister Robert Abela has said.
Taking questions from journalists at political activity this morning, Abela said he will launch a White Paper in the coming days to outline the government’s policy in this regard.
He said the main principle of the proposed law will be that people found with a small amount of cannabis won’t be subjected to criminal and judicial proceedings, meaning they won’t have to appear in front of a justice tribunal or drug court.
“We’ve been talking about this issue for years but no one wanted to introduce the necessary reforms,” he said. “We’ve seen youths, students and other cannabis users arrested, made to give statements to the police, prosecuted, and had their police records stained. We can’t ignore these realities anymore and we must be sensitive and responsible.”
“We cannot be insensitive to realities and ruin the future of people who are caught with a joint.”
He didn’t specify whether the reform will loosen current restrictions on growing cannabis for personal use.
However, he said the reform won’t incentivise the formation of a “cannabis culture”, that it won’t allow people to smoke outdoors, and that the government will stress the “problems” the plant can cause.
He also pledged that drug trafficking will remain a crime and that the government will try its utmost to “kill the black market”.