Adrian Delia has had quite a fractious relationship with journalist-blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia since his election as PN leader last month, but the two finally seem to have found some common ground…against the legalisation of cannabis for personal use.
The criticism comes a day after the ReLeaf movement launched a manifesto detailing its plans to legalise and regulate the sale and use of cannabis in Malta.
Delia visited Mosta this morning and gave a short speech, mainly focused on teacher shortages, pensions, traffic and waste management. Yet towards the end, he also took another dig at the government’s pledge to discuss the legalisation of marijuana for personal use.
Adrian Delia’s comments on drugs are at 19:40 in the above video
“I praise the police officers who were recently involved in the largest drug raid in Malta’s history,” he said, referring to their recent seizure of 550kg of cannabis resin. “Now let’s talk about drugs, let’s talk about whether drugs are a personal choice, let’s talk about whether drugs will destroy our children’s future. Malta has gone from being the safest country in the world to a drug trafficking haven.”
Delia has previously insisted cannabis use is not a personal choice, and warned legalisation would prove detrimental to society.
Such criticism tallies with an opinion piece penned by Daphne Caruana Galizia in the Malta Independent today, warning the legalisation of cannabis will lead to a spike in demand for the drug.
“Cannabis use is not just a personal choice, as it is being made out to be by those determined not to consider the bigger picture,” she wrote. “It has a high social cost. But look at alcohol, look at cigarettes, people tell me, when I argue against the legalisation of cannabis. “Exactly,” I say. “Look at all the people dying of lung cancer, stroke and other smoking-related diseases.”
The ReLeaf movement launched its manifesto in Valletta yesterday
“Look at the massive social cost, the cost in terms of healthcare. Look at all the drunks, who we are now meant to call alcoholics, and the people crippled by cirrhosis of the liver, who need constant medical care. Then tell me it’s a personal choice. Look at all the problems they have created for other people.”
ReLeaf are arguing public health will be better safeguarded if the government were to wrest control of cannabis sales from drug dealers.
“The system out there is a Wild West, and Maltese citizens are being forced to buy cannabis from shady dealers who then try to push them onto harder drugs,” ReLead spokesperson Johnathan Cilia said at the launch.