Key Points of the Manifesto

The Manifesto on the Legislation and Regulation of Cannabis in Malta is the first of it’s kind in Malta’s legal history. Written through democratic consensus with input from both citizens as well as stakeholders, the manifesto provides a detailed framework in which preparation for and the implementation of cannabis regulation can take place.  


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Creation of a Cannabis Industry

The establishment, control and regulation of the Maltese cannabis industry by the Government of Malta

Access to Medical Cannabis

Universal access to medicinal cannabis to those who need it

Decriminalisation of Cannabis

The removal of punitive measures and criminalisation of drug users in Maltese society

Eradication of the Black Market

Eradication of the criminal networks and weakening of the black market currently present in Malta

Increased Taxes, Revenue, and Job Creation

Allow Maltese citizens to partake in a legal, regulated cannabis industry, and boost the economy through job creation

Harm Reductive Policies to be Implemented

The establishment of quality testing/safety facilities, harm reduction policies being implemented, and an updated drug educational drive being undertaken

The ReLeaf Manifesto will be available for download on the 14th October from this page, and in print form on that same evening at the official ReLeaf Launch Event at Funky Monkey in Gzira.

If you would like to further enquire about the ReLeaf Manifesto or preview it, please contact us at info@releaf.com.mt

Do You Agree That Cannabis Should Be Legalised?


Manifesto

Six Major Short-Term Objectives


  1. The establishment, control and regulation of the Maltese cannabis industry by the Government of Malta


  1. The assurance of access to medicinal cannabis to those who need it


  1. The removal of punitive measures and criminalisation of drug users in Maltese society


  1. The allowance of Maltese citizens to partake in a legal, regulated cannabis industry, and boost the economy through job creation and taxation


  1. The establishment of quality testing facilities, harm reduction policies being implemented, and an updated drug education policy


  1. The eradication of the criminal networks and weakening of the black market currently present in Malta



“Drugs have destroyed many lives - but wrong government policies have destroyed many more”


- Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations


Progress in Malta

The Maltese government took the courageous step of decriminalising cannabis for personal use in 2013, a step towards de-stigmatizing cannabis users and medicinal users here in Malta. However, this did not decrease the scale or invasiveness of the black market, and as the Maltese police force themselves admit, there is no real way to know just how large the Maltese drug black market is.

With Maltese citizens’ demand for medical and recreational cannabis growing by the year, the black market will remain unchecked until a policy of legalisation and regulation is put in place. Until then, the black market will continue to grow and profit from this demand, directly putting Maltese citizens’ hard-earned money into the hands of criminal networks and organisations.

Below are statistics for how much cannabis was confiscated by the Maltese Police force over the last decade. As can be seen from the variances year by year, the Maltese black market is flooded with cannabis brought in through criminal means - and the police have been unsuccessful in even denting the market, let alone knowing the true extent of how much cannabis is in Malta.




2005200620072008200920102011
Cannabis Grass (kgs)1.82.80.0480.0016458.30.7551.5
Cannabis Resin (kgs)19.6452.223.423.442.789.5




2012201320142015
Cannabis Grass (kgs)2.7859.73969.54.031
Cannabis Resin(kgs)
16.4600.5354269.9

Amount of cannabis confiscated by the Maltese police. Statistics obtained with the cooperation of the Police Headquarters in Floriana.



Proposed Recommendations for the Control and Regulation of Cannabis in Malta

The legalisation of medical and personal cannabis for adults over the age of 21 is an essential step for Malta in its drive as a morally compassionate and an economically growth-driven country. At the bare minimum, cannabis should be legal to obtain medicinally, legal to obtain recreationally from a licensed vendor, be fully decriminalised for personal use, and legal to grow for personal use in a limited and private manner.


As a naturally growing, hardy weed, the cannabis plant is easy to grow and has many profitable applications beyond its typical medicinal and personal drug use. Industrial hemp, which is the non-psychoactive part of the cannabis plant, can be used to make extremely durable fibers, as well as in construction material, in plastic production, as food for humans and livestock, and even as a biofuel source.

And the potential profit from a regulated recreational cannabis industry goes without saying, with the state of Colorado amassing over $1 billion in sales in 2016 alone, accumulating over $70 million in taxes for the state in less than 10 months.


Below are the recommendations best suited for Malta after taking into account other successful countries’ models and the local Maltese context. (See annex 1 and 2)

Medicinal


Medical cannabis must be treated as a medicine on par with other prescription medicines, meaning users will have access to cannabis as a medicine at pharmacy level with a doctor’s prescription. Patients must be able to access the appropriate doctors for prescription with ease, and access the prescribed medicine with ease - and if out of stock, the government must find a way to provide it when possible.


Any trained doctor should be allowed to prescribe cannabis as a medicine when suitable to the medical condition being treated.

Medical cannabis must be made legal and allowed in its various forms (Vapor/Oil/Flower/Edibles/Extracts). These must be obtained from licensed medicinal growers/distributors, grown locally and treated locally, or obtained from licensed foreign manufacturers.

To purchase medical cannabis legally, one must be in possession of a medical cannabis prescription from a doctor.

Medical cannabis will be taxed in line with other medicines.

In certain cases, it should be legal to prescribe medical cannabis to people under the age of 21, if the doctor believes this is needed in their case.

Qualifying Conditions (subject to addition of further conditions):

           Cachexia

Cancer

  • Chronic pain

  • Chronic nervous system disorders

  • Social Anxiety Disorder

  • Glaucoma

  • HIV or AIDS

  • Nausea

  • Persistent Muscle Spasms

  • Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome

  • Insomnia

  • Seizures
    Fibromyalgia
    Alzeihmers

Personal Use and Growing


Adults aged 21 or older will be allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants per person (with four or fewer being mature), legally possess all cannabis from the plants they grow, legally possess up to 30 grams of cannabis on their person while in public, and give as a gift up to 30 grams to other citizens 21 years of age or older if there is no financial consideration.


Adults will be allowed to purchase cannabis from a licensed, taxable vendor with a limit of 5 grams of cannabis per commercial outlet.


The growing must take place in a locked space, is not conducted openly or publicly and can not be made available for private sale. Anyone not licensed to sell or trade cannabis or any derivative products in person or online is subject to punishment.


The number of plants that can be possessed or grown on a residential property is 12 plants (assuming there is more than one person who wants to grow), unless a medical or judicial authority permits possessing or growing more than 12 plants. A person may seek an exception from the authorities to grow up to 24 plants with a valid reason.


A ‘social club licence’ could be created for any persons who are unable to grow in their own home to waive their right to grow to the social club, with the social club growing the plants on the person’s behalf for them. A social club could be formed by two people or more.

Industrial hemp should be regulated separately from strains of cannabis with higher Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrations.

Licensing Schemes and Quality Control


A ministry/regulatory department within a ministry should be created to handle both license issuance as well as testing and quality control. Licensing of this type would be the first of its kind in the world, and would cover a number of licences:

Licence A: Commercial Licence to sell Cannabis in a specific venue
Licence B: Growing Licence to grow cannabis on an industrial level for commercial/medical purposes
Licence C: Distributor Licence to transport cannabis between institutions/commercial establishments.
Licence D: Small Business Licence to grow up to 150 plants for sale in own commercial establishment
Licence E: Social Club Licence to grow plants on behalf of those who cannot grow themselves.
Licence F: Research and Development Licence for academic and scientific use

Criminal

It is recommended that anyone found selling cannabis to minors be harshly punished.

Anyone found personally growing over the legal amount would also be liable to a fine or punishment.

An amendment should be made to parole laws stating that the use of cannabis while under parole is no longer punishable.

Consumption is permitted in a manner similar to alcohol, with equivalent offenses prescribed for driving under the influence of cannabis.

Public consumption is permitted in a manner similar to both alcohol and smoking cigarettes. Anyone caught smoking cannabis in a public or unpermitted area is liable to a fine.

People who were convicted of crimes such as possession or trafficking that would not have been a criminal offense following legalisation are to have their sentences removed and amnesty given to said persons. The continued imprisonment of an individual for an offense that would then become legal would be unethical and would not be observing the law in a just and compassionate way.

Commercial

Cannabis-related businesses are only allowed to operate:

  1. In commercial zones

  2. At least 100m away from:

    • Schools

    • Community centers

    • Youth facilities that serve vulnerable youth