Cannabis users in Malta may soon be able to grow their own weed and avoid police arrests for possession, as the government moves to legalise “responsible use” of the substance.
Prime Minister Robert Abela today pledged to present a draft law, or white paper, as the “final stage” of the consultation process.
“The reform proposes the elimination of police arrest on cannabis for personal use,” the Prime Minister’s office told Lovin Malta in a written statement.
“By pushing up the limits of possession to reasonable levels, users will avoid police interrogation and legal proceedings. Government is also considering allowing the cultivation of a small number of plants strictly for personal use.”
“The functions of the Drugs Tribunal shall be reviewed and improved. Smoking in public will remain prohibited,” the OPM said, adding that government was committed to hold an open discussion with all stakeholders “to achieve the best law possible”.
The Prime Minister’s comments come days after the arrest of two teenagers who were caught smoking weed in a hotel room on Valentine’s Day. The arrest sparked outrage and calls from all quarters, including Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola and Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri, for laws to be amended and police resources to be put to better use.
Lovin Malta yesterday asked for the Prime Minister’s reaction to these arrests and an update on the cannabis reform that was pledged in the 2017 Labour Party manifesto, which he has committed to enacting before the next election.
Malta has already legalised cannabis for medicinal use.
Parliamentary Secretary Rosianne Cutajar also thanked Abela for supporting the proposals she put forward for cannabis use reform.
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