RELEAF STATEMENT ON PN’S POSITION
It is disappointing to see the Nationalist party reconfirm their position against the legalisation of the personal use of cannabis, especially in light of recent tentative steps towards a more sensible drug policy. It is especially saddening to hear this re-affirmation of an unjust and poor social policy forcing thousands of Maltese citizens to be stigmatised and forced into a black market after our personal meeting with the honourable Dr. Adrian Delia.
He had been receptive to our message and we had been hopeful that the Nationalist Party had understood the injustice cannabis users face every day. Unfortunately, with the honourable Dr. Chris Said’s clear message at a public debate in Gozo over the weekend, the Nationalist Party seem resolute to be on the wrong side of history on this very important issue.
Maltese community leaders must stop seeing cannabis users as victims. It is essential that the legislators of this nation move on from entertaining a disproven, antiquated idea of cannabis. The cannabis plant is an incredibly versatile natural plant that has a long list of beneficial uses, as a drug as well as applications like textiles and food, and there’s not a single death associated with its use.
It is only a weak social and economic policy that ignores what can be gained from legalising and legislating the plant. This kind of policy, as we currently have, creates a system where Maltese children have unfettered access to untested cannabis. Malta needs a policy based on sensible legislation with a strong foothold in reality, coupled with a truthful and modern national education drive.
Maltese citizens that use cannabis are no different than any other citizen. They work and study hard to be successful, and to continue to ignore them and force them to the black market is a stain on any social policy.
We would like to thank Circolo Gozitano for hosting a successful debate, as well as thank Dr. Chris Said, the honourable Parliamentary Secretary Julia Farrugia Portelli, and Ralph Cassar for their honest input.
We are, however, concerned there might be a gap of knowledge in what some legislators think cannabis is, both from a lack of personal experience as well as the stigma in Malta associated with cannabis users. We hope this does not result in the continuation of the current broken system and does not hinder legislators from understanding the everyday experience of the Maltese cannabis user.