People are still in prison for non-violent cannabis-related crimes and one NGO thinks it time for the government to immediately address the issue.
In its second 4/20 resolution, ReLeaf called on the government for the complete expungement of small scale non-violent cannabis convictions, ensuring a clean police conduct for those found guilty of such offences.
Those in prison for the cultivation, consumption and sharing of cannabis for personal should be immediately released.
“Maltese citizens are still being persecuted, interrogated, arrested and treated as high-risk criminals for a non-violent personal choice to cultivate, consume or share the cannabis plant and its derivatives, and question how can the country seriously counter stigma for people who use cannabis when still adopting a prohibitionist and criminal approach,” ReLeaf said.
The government, ReLeaf say, should also help these people re-enter the workforce in emerging industries, like legal cannabis. ReLeaf also reiterated previous promises by the government and its advisors to adopt a more ‘socially aligned’ approach to cannabis policing.
In Malta, the cultivation, consumption, and sharing of cannabis for personal use are considered criminal offences. In some cases, people have even been sent to six months in prison for less than seven grams of cannabis.
While Malta had made tentative moves to relax its cannabis laws five years ago, little has changed since then. However, with the government releasing a message of support to Malta’s cannabis users on 4/20, this could change soon.
Parliamentary Secretary for Reforms Rosianne Cutajar even said that Malta could use the local cannabis industry to provide jobs and a much-needed economic boost to beat a COVID-19 economic downturn.
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