Following the arrest of a young couple in their hotel room over a small quantity of cannabis over Valentine’s Day weekend, Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri has urged Malta to amend its drug laws.
“I’ve also had some questions about those two youths who were arrested,” Camilleri said. “As Home Affairs Minister, I want to see the police act in the spirit of the legal changes we implemented in recent years. Beyond that, I believe that we need to change the laws even more, so that cases like this don’t repeat themselves.”
However, Camilleri also urged people not to “hinder” the police, saying they’re obliged to investigate reports and praising them for carrying out several drug-related operations in recent months, including arrests of people selling drugs in public places.
In a statement yesterday, the police confirmed they arrested a 21-year-old man from Ħamrun and a 19-year-old woman from Żabbar after they were found in possession of cannabis at a St Julian’s hotel.
Although the police didn’t say how much cannabis was found, photos released by the force show a grinder, a small bag of cannabis, and a half-smoked joint. They didn’t confirm whether or not the couple will be prosecuted.
However, this latest arrest has once again sparked criticism about Malta’s drug laws. Although simple possession of cannabis was partially decriminalised in 2015, police can still arrest users to find out who had sold them the plant.
Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola has criticised the state of affairs, saying it’s unfair for people to be arrested for smoking a joint in a hotel room and face potentially lengthy court cases.
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