Prime Minister Robert Abela will be announcing the government’s plans for significant cannabis reforms at 5.15pm.
Sources have so far been coy on what the reforms could entail. However, a press call has revealed that Abela will announce a public consultation process on a White Paper to strengthen the legal framework on the responsible use of cannabis.
You can tune in live from Lovin Malta’s Facebook page at 5.15pm or check out the video below:
On Sunday, Abela said that the main principle of the proposed law will be that people found with a small amount of cannabis won’t be subjected to criminal and judicial proceedings, meaning they won’t have to appear in front of a justice tribunal or drug court.
He said the reform won’t incentivise the formation of a “cannabis culture”, that it won’t allow people to smoke outdoors, and that the government will stress the “problems” the plant can cause.
In February, Lovin Malta was first to reveal that Abela was in discussions with the cabinet to present a draft law, or white paper, as the “final stage” of the consultation process.
“The reform proposes the elimination of police arrest on cannabis for personal use,” the Prime Minister’s office told Lovin Malta in a written statement.
“By pushing up the limits of possession to reasonable levels, users will avoid police interrogation and legal proceedings. Government is also considering allowing the cultivation of a small number of plants strictly for personal use.”
“The functions of the Drugs Tribunal shall be reviewed and improved. Smoking in public will remain prohibited,” the OPM said, adding that government was committed to holding an open discussion with all stakeholders “to achieve the best law possible”.
Abela’s comments came just after the arrest of two teenagers who were caught smoking weed in a hotel room on Valentine’s Day.
Malta has already legalised cannabis for medicinal use and decriminalised recreational use. However, some issues still remain, with activists calling for the full-legalisation of cannabis.
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