Italy is set to permit its citizens to grow cannabis plants at home as long as it is intended for personal use.
The reform of the country’s cannabis laws was approved by the Lower House’s justice committee on Wednesday, paving the way for its implementation.
The changes will see the growth of up to four plants at home while also increasing penalties for crimes linked to trafficking and dealing of the plant from six years to 10.
In a white paper published last April, the Maltese government also proposed allowing the cultivation of four plants, though this would only be allowed under a number of conditions, including that the plant is not visible to the public or children living in the household in which it is being grown.
A reform of cannabis laws was one of the Labour Party’s pledges in its 2017 general electoral manifesto, but with the legislature approaching its end, time for passing any reform – especially one as tricky as this – is running out.
Reforms Minister Owen Bonnici has pledged to table a draft law in Parliament once it opens in October, with work on the reform now in its final stages.
“This legislation is my first priority and I want it to be a good reform,” Bonnici told Lovin Malta.
One source of criticism regarding the white paper was the fact that it did not address how the plant could be purchased – a key component of any reform, especially given the difficulty of growing the cannabis plant.
It is unclear whether this will be addressed in the draft legislation to be presented by the minister, though the fact that Opposition Bernard Grech has declared that he believes that smokers should be able to purchase cannabis legally should make for an interesting parliamentary debate.
Should recreational cannabis smoking be legalised?