Maltese Police Officers found using cannabis for recreational use will be dismissed from the force altogether, even if its legalised, Commissioner Angelo Gafa has warned.
Speaking in an interview with Xarabank on Lovin Malta, Gafa noted that parliament was currently in the process of debating the Police Act, which will make drug use by police officers immediate grounds for dismissal.
He explained that police work can be a consuming and stressful endeavour, warning that officers often end up falling victim to addiction because of the intense workload. He pointed to alcoholism as a prevalent issue among susceptible officers.
Gafa said it was important to promote an employee support programme and give access to officers for proper training on the issues. Both are currently being proposed in discussions with the government.
The Police Commissioner would not be drawn into a comment on a personal position on the proposed legalisation – insisting that the police’s only priority from legislators is to create a law that “police can work with”.
“I’m not in a privileged position like you. I cannot have an opinion, but I assure you that we are a principle stakeholder and discussions are underway,” he said.
The government has so far proposed a white paper for cannabis reform, setting an outline for the further decriminalisation of cannabis for personal use.
It seems that it will likely go full tilt, with the Labour Party proposing the full legalisation of cannabis for personal use, along with social clubs which would grow cannabis on behalf of users as well as an outlet for people to purchase cannabis and seeds and the establishment of private areas to be used as a private zone for multiple users to utilise. The PN is still working on a position.
Xarabank has hosted both proponents and exponents of the proposal, which you can watch in full below.
What do you think of the Commissioner’s position?