PN candidate Roselyn Borg Knight has come out in favour of granting people a legal avenue from which to purchase cannabis, stating that an upcoming reform shouldn’t facilitate the black market and that users shouldn’t be arrested.
Interviewed on Lovin Daily this week, Borg Knight noted Prime Minister Robert Abela’s recent pledge that an upcoming cannabis reform bill will include legal purchase channels and a similar call made by Opposition leader Bernard Grech a few days prior.
“Bernard Grech made very clear that, at the end of the day, it’s very important that we don’t give more leeway to the black market and we need to get a bit of credit for that; sometimes I think we don’t get enough credit for what we say and do,” she said.
“Robert Abela did say that what the Opposition said will actually be taken on board when the bill is proposed.”
However, she warned that she isn’t in favour of legalisation “at all costs” and that reform must take place within the legal framework and take note of a number of international treaties that Malta signed several decades ago.
She also opted against coming out in favour of a specific model, stating that she wants to wait and see what the government will propose in its upcoming Bill and carry out her research on their proposal.
“I’m curious to see what is being proposed and I’d prefer a proper impact assessment on what affects [the model] may have when making decisions on what to support.”
“I believe that its important for the electorate to know what I think but it’s also about knowledge and understanding the full picture. I want to see what government is proposing and then do research on what is being proposed.”
An employment lawyer by trade, Borg Knight also called for a discussion on workplace policies that will be implemented in line with the upcoming reform, such as whether cannabis should be allowed at work.
“What’s really on my mind and what isn’t being discussed yet is the impact on the workplace and I’m already getting these kind of questions. From an employment perspective, it’s important to look at it.”
Reforms Minister Owen Bonnici has said he intends to present the cannabis reform bill when Parliament reconvenes in October.
It 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.
However, it remains unknown how people will be able to purchase the plant without resorting to the black market, with the issue set to be discussed by Cabinet before the final bill is presented.
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