Cannabis activists and a medical clinic have hit back at “unfounded” claims being made about cannabis as Maltese politicians debate legalisation in Parliament.
In a joint statement released by the Pain Clinic and ReLeaf, the organisations called for evidence to support some of the more extreme claims being made as the island decides if it will regulate cannabis, or leave it to the black market.
“We have never heard of children nibbling their parents’ grapevines or morning glory plants, so it comes as a great surprise that children would want to place a sticky and hairy green flower in their mouth to ingest,” they organisations said wryly.
“Since there is no THC in raw cannabis,” they continued, “it is impossible for a child or adult to ingest it in raw form and experience intoxication or require medical attention.” They then addressed the organisation behind the claims.
“Richmond Foundation, please provide peer-reviewed studies confirming ingestion of raw cannabis by home cultivation has been causing health emergencies. Unfortunately similar unfounded statements continue to stigmatise people who consume cannabis, especially parents, singled out as irresponsible.”
The organisations invited Richmond Foundation to take a “close look at the national statistics on the drug situation in Malta and find, somewhere nicely hidden, the ever increasing problem of abused prescribed medication”.
“These usually come in tablet form and constitute a direct hazard for accidental or intentional ingestion by children.”
Activists have been dealing with an increase in strange claims as Reforms Minister Owen Bonnici has been arguing for regulation of the plant in Malta.
“The main reason we’re legislating is because we really need to stop hurting people, objectifying them and making them pass though a disproportionate penal process,” Bonnici said.
ReLeaf and the Pain Clinic continued to call for correct information when debating cannabis legalisation.
“Once more, a call for a researched and evidence-based approach to cannabis policy is urgently needed, thus ensuring protection of our children and society as a whole.”
Aside from Richmond Foundation, a number of other organisations had made some strange statements. The Church, on its part, called for a psychological test for anyone who would like to use regulated cannabis in Malta.
PN MP Claudette Buttigieg defended her party’s prohibitionist stance, complaining that regulating cannabis use in Malta would make it harder for police to prosecute users. She has also warned that if Malta regulates cannabis, workers may end up spending their break times chewing cannabis.
This statement was made even though chewing cannabis is not a normal method of consumption.
She also warned that productivity of remote workers may also decrease if cannabis is allowed to be grown at home.
Were you surprised by some of the arguments made against cannabis legalisation?