The latest European Drug Report gives us some pretty interesting insight into the habits of Maltese drug users – and some information left us pretty shook.
Then again, we don’t all have the time to read through an 88-page report on European drug habits, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to choose six of the most important, surprising, and downright crazy things we’ve learnt from this report.
1. Cannabis use is surprisingly low.
Only four per cent of adults in Malta are estimated to have used cannabis at least once in their life. This is drowned out by other European countries – 45 per cent of French adults, for example have tried cannabis, according to the same report.
If this figure is correct, that means around 20,000 people in Malta have used cannabis once in heir life.
2. A lot of cocaine is seized in Malta.
A whopping 188 kilograms of cocaine was seized in Malta in 2018. To put that into perspective, Slovakia only had a single kilogram of the drug seized that same year.
However, it is important to remember that Malta is often used as a transit hub for trafficking large amounts of drugs for other countries, so these may not have necessarily been meant for the Maltese market.
3. Maltese drug users stay away from amphetamines.
Only 0.3% of Maltese adults have tried amphetamines in their life – one of the lowest rates in the entire EU. Malta’s numbers are trumped by countries like Denmark and Estonia, where 7% and 6.1% of adults have tried amphetamines respectively.
4. Malta’s drug data is pretty outdated.
Most EU countries had their statistics about drug usage updated in the last two to four years. Malta, on the other hand, is still relying on data from 2013 for a whole range of statistics about drug consumption.
5. A worrying amount of syringes is distributed.
More than 275,000 syringes were distributed in Malta in 2017, a pretty high number when compared to other far bigger countries. Croatia, a country with a population of four million, saw the distribution of 244,299 syringes in 2018.
6. Cannabis plants don’t seem to be that popular in Malta.
It’s either that or people are just really good at hiding them. Only two plants were seized in Malta in 2018 – but the same can’t be said for cannabis resin. More than 17,000 kilograms of cannabis resin were seized that same year, easily one of the highest numbers in the entire EU.
Malta’s approach to drugs has changed drastically over the last decade.
Having decriminalised cannabis back in 2015 and legalised medicinal cannabis in 2018, Malta’s slowly modernising its approach to softer drugs. Just this year, the government issued a 4/20 message for the first time ever – and seeing as 20,000 people have used cannabis at least once, the recreational use of some drugs may be a much bigger part of Maltese life than previously thought.