The Maltese government is planning to update the law as part of a clampdown on the growing phenomenon of legal highs.
As it stands, the government criminalises harmful drugs individually by virtue of legal notices when they are found on the island. However, drug producers have proven particularly adept at slightly tweaking the chemical substance of drugs – therefore creating new legal highs and constantly remaining one step ahead of the authorities.
Around 100 new psychoactive substances were found in Europe in 2015, a rate of two new drugs discovered per week.
Now health minister Chris Fearne has told the Malta Independent it is planning to change the law to allow the authorities to criminalise entire psychoactive compounds of drugs, a move which will allow the police to instantly prosecute people found in possession of new types of highs.
“We acknowledge the prevalence of illegally manufactured and illegally imported synthetic drugs in Malta, and stress the use of such drugs can result in serious health problems,” a ministry spokesperson said.
Lovin Malta reported this week the Malta Police Force had found a synthetic drug resembling the notorious synthetic drug Flakka back in 2015, but could not prosecute the person found in possession of it because the drug is not listed as an illegal substance in Maltese law.