Mtarfa mayor Daniel Attard has called out parliamentary secretary for reforms Julia Farrugia Portelli after she criticised the Labour Party for proposing a debate on the legalisation of cannabis “for recreational purposes” in its electoral manifesto.
“Our victorious electoral manifesto is a contract with the electorate that must be honoured and respected,” Attard said.
Farrugia Portelli has been entrusted with cannabis reform but in an interview on Ras imb Ras last night she made it very clear what her stance on the plant is, strongly insinuating that people who smoke cannabis cannot be achievers.
“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.”
Farrugia Portelli said her idea of cannabis reform is to launch an educational programme at schools, but left the door slightly ajar for legalisation by stating she doesn’t want to see adult cannabis users tricked into buying harmful synthetic cannabis on the black market.
Labour’s 2017 electoral manifesto proposes a national debate on the legalisation of recreational cannabis, an issue Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has already come out in support of.
Il-manifest elettorali tal-Partit Laburista gie vvutat mill-Konferenza Generali tal-Partit u maghzul mill-poplu Malti u…
Labour MEP candidate Cyrus Engerer shared Attard’s status and said the government has a duty to fulfil the PL electoral manifesto in its entirety after it was voted through by the largest majority in Maltese history.
“We cannot become like the Nationalist Party and not deliver on our promises,” he said. “That’s why we kicked the PN out of government. Those who say otherwise are showing disrespect towards the intelligence of the PL delegates and the Maltese people.”
Malta Book Council chairman Mark Camilleri also criticised Farrugia Portelli for her comments, urging her to stop wasting time and legalise cannabis.
“The government is also spending money and resources [to fight cannabis] instead of regulating it like other products and creating a new economic niche.”
“As for non-achievers and all that bullshit, give us a break. You’d do better to teach children about healthy eating and cholesterol because that’s how people are dying.”