The Labour Party of Malta is looking toward recreational cannabis. The party presented proposals for legalization on Monday, confirming their support of adult-use cannabis legalization. The stance was first reported on Sunday by The Journal.
The stance is an update to their previous position, which was a push for the decriminalization of cannabis. Possession of small quantities of drugs has been punishable by fine over imprisonment since 2015.
The distinction in legalization calls for a legal framework on how cannabis plants and seeds can be bought from designated and licensed venues and under the watch of an authority, which ensures quality and regulation.
In March, the government began the process of consulting with the public on matters of cannabis regulation, in regard to possession and households having the ability to grow a certain amount of plants.
Specifically, the government white paper looks to decriminalize possession of up to seven grams of cannabis with every household able to grow up to four plants for their own consumption, not for sale.
The Labour Party’s new position calls not only for the legal framework, but it also calls for designated areas like social clubs or lounges where consumption is allowed. The Party also said that expungement of criminal records should be considered for other minor crimes without prejudice to help in reintegrate and combat social exclusion.
Regarding cannabis legalization, Prime Minister Robert Abela spoke on the necessary reforms in March, “We’ve seen young people and other cannabis users arrested, prosecuted and having their police records tainted and futures ruined. We cannot ignore these realities anymore, and we must be sensitive and responsible in our way forward.”
So far, the proposals have seen a mixed response. The Association of Private Family Doctors acknowledged the need for decriminalization of possession of small amounts of cannabis, but they warn that legalization of cannabis will increase its overall consumption.