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Labour Candidate Starts Petition After Reforms Secretary Opposes Cannabis Manifesto Pledge

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Labour MEP candidate Cyrus Engerer has launched an online petition calling for the party’s electoral manifesto to be respected in its entirety after parliamentary secretary for reforms Julia Farrugia said the party shouldn’t have promised a debate on the legalisation of recreational cannabis.

“Today’s assertion by Government that the Labour Party made a mistake in its Cannabis proposal in the 2017 electoral manifesto must be reversed,” Engerer said. “All proposals in the manifesto must be implemented by the end of this legislature.”

“The Labour Party delegates that voted and approved the manifesto, and the absolute and biggest majority of Maltese citizens who chose the Labour manifesto over other manifestos made their conscious choice, and this must be respected.”

Labour’s 2017 electoral manifesto proposed a national debate on the legalisation of recreational cannabis, an issue Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has already come out in support of.

However, Farrugia Portelli, who has been entrusted with cannabis reform, said in an interview last night that the PL made a mistake to refer to the plant as ‘recreational’.

“It was a mistake to refer to it as ‘recreational’ in our electoral manifesto and there’s unanimous agreement in an inter-ministerial group on the way forward, so as to be credible and respect our future generations,” she said. “I don’t want to see a generation of children reacting to the smallest setbacks that life may throw at them to resort to vices.”

“We should never talk about recreational drugs. The minute we start doing so, we’ll be losing the argument of the fight against drugs and the argument that our children must be achievers.”

Besides Engerer, Mtarfa mayor Daniel Attard and Malta Book Council chairman Mark Camilleri have also criticised Farrugia Portelli for her anti-legalisation comments.

READ NEXT: Young Labour Councillors Fully Back Recreational Cannabis Legalisation In Malta While PN Peers Remain Highly Critical

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