A man has been sentenced to nine months in jail after being caught with a handful of weed.
34-year-old Jugoslav Damjanovic, who lives in Valletta, was also fined €600 for being caught in possession of cannabis that the court decided was not intended for his personal use. He was also charged with being drunk in public.
Damjanovic was found with eight individual sachets as well as two grinders, and an exact total of 7.3 grams, the prosecution said.
Under Maltese law, being found carrying up to 3.5 grams of cannabis will land you a €100 fine if you are a first time offender.
However, Damjanovic exceeded this amount.
He pleaded guilty to the charges, and his legal aid lawyer pointed out that he had been fully cooperative with the police.
However, an inspector noted a discrepancy, where Damjanovic had told police he had been in Malta for a year but was found to have filed an application to for residence in Malta back in 2018.
After hearing all of this, Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech sentenced the man to nine months in prison and a €600 fine and ordered the destruction of the cannabis.
Malta has been working on reforming its cannabis laws for the best part of a decade.
The island loosened the law back in 2015, but many still feel like this is not enough.
However, at the beginning of 2020, Prime Minister Robert Abela put Rosianne Cutajar in charge of reforms, giving renewed hope to Maltese cannabis users that they may soon not have to fear being sent to jail over the possession of small amounts of the cannabis plant.