Nationalist Party leader candidate Chris Said has made a U-turn on legalising the recreational use of marijuana, and is now firmly opposed to such a policy.
“My personal position on whether marijuana should be legalised boils down to a simple question of whether I want my children to have easy access to the drug,” he said during an interview with Lovin Malta. “In fact, I ask the Prime Minister the same question – does he want his children to be able to buy marijuana freely?”
It is a far cry from what Chris Said had told this website a month ago, when he said he doesn’t have a strong opinion on the subject and called for a discussion with a focus on “curbing abuse, strengthening education and not ruining someone’s life because of a joint”.
Now, the Gozitan MP is saying he will only consider reverting his objection to legalising marijuana if medical and psychological experts manage to convince him it doesn’t cause any physical or psychological harm and its advantages outweigh its disadvantages.
“We are continuously fighting smoking – printing ‘Smoking Kills’ and ugly photos on cigarette packets, annually increasing taxes on cigarettes, banning smoking in public places and inside cars with children, and talking about how smoking is such a burden on the healthcare system,” he said. “We are continuously fighting against something legal, so why do we now want to legalise something which is currently illegal?”
What else did we learn from our interview with Chris Said?
- He pledged to shut down strip clubs which exploit vulnerable women.
- He said the majority of Maltese people are against the Labour government’s removal of the words ‘mother’ and ‘father’ in the recent gay marriage law, and that many people have complained about the changes to him.
- He pledged to work in favour of diversity and tolerance if elected PN leader, and dismissed concerns the majority of Maltese people are racist.
- He pledged to never introduce abortion, even if large segments of the Maltese population start calling for it.
- He pledged to double the party’s efforts in fighting government corruption and claimed to be the candidate Castille wants least as PN leader. “I am an open book and everyone already knows what I have done in politics. Labour has nothing in its arsenal it can use against me and that frustrates them because they can’t damage my credibility.”
- He took a small dig at rival candidate Adrian Delia for sharing a coffee with Edward Gatt, lawyer to the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri. “It’s his decision. He has the right to meet up with whoever he wants, but then the people also have a right to draw their own conclusions.”
And then there was this interesting snippet about the PN’s values…
“Perhaps the PN’s biggest mistake in recent years was we weren’t clear enough on our positions and we tried to appease everyone. One of my first moves as PN leaer will be to reaffirm our beliefs.”
“We shouldn’t be embarrassed to speak about our identity and beliefs in public. Some people will disagree with us but even those will respect us because at least they will know where they stand with us. We should not play around with our principles and transforming into a photocopy of Labour will be the beginning of the end for PN. The Labour Party sold its soul and discarded its values and is now only working for the here and now. God forbid the PN ends up like that, and as leader I will re-affirm our party’s principles which ultimately distinguish us from Labour.
“Labour’s stance is reaping them benefits in the short-term but it will prove disastrous to both the party and the country in the long-term.”