Labour CEO Randolph Debattista has said the government must respect the party’s electoral manifesto in its entirety after parliamentary secretary for reforms Julia Farrugia Portelli criticised the PL for promising a debate on the legalisation of recreational cannabis.
“An electoral manifesto that has been approved by the General Conference and voted in by the people cannot be scrapped or changed by a comment,” Debattista said.
Manifest Elettorali approvat mill-Konferenza Ġenerali u vvotat mill-Poplu ma jitħassarx jew jinbidel b'kumment.
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.”
PL MEP candidate Cyrus Engerer has launched a petition against her comments, while Mtarfa mayor Daniel Attard and Malta Book Council chairman Mark Camilleri have also voiced criticism.