12th May 2021
By Roland Sebestyén

Following a proposal that would allow the possession and use of recreational cannabis in the country, the Malta Association of Social Workers has responded that it would only back the decriminalisation of the drug.

On Tuesday, The Malta Association of Social Workers (MASW) issued an open letter in which they clarified that the organisation would be ‘firmly against’ any attempts to legalise cannabis.

MASW said they were concerned about the lack of clarity as to how the legislation would protect minors.

In the letter, the organisers said: “There is no indication on how the authorities will ensure that children and young people in private residences will not be exposed to cannabis and the White Paper does not consider the consequences of substance use on family relationships and the complex dynamics that this can create both in the shorter term and the longer term. 

“There is no reference to how the use of cannabis among young people will be avoided, in view of research showing that cannabis ingredients directly harm the developing brain of adolescents.”

The proposal, which is now open to public consultation, would allow users to grow their own plants at home and carry up to seven grams of cannabis for personal use without fear of prosecution.

According to the Times of Malta, the government’s proposal is as follows:

  • Possession of up to 7 grams of cannabis for personal use will be completely legal.
  • Possession between 7 grams and 28 grams for personal use will be subject to a fine before a drugs tribunal.
  • Personal possession of cannabis will no longer be an arrestable offence, and anyone caught with such amounts will not be interrogated by the police.
  • Individuals can grow up to four cannabis plants for personal use at home, provided the plants cannot be seen from outside their home.
  • Anyone with a criminal record for simple cannabis possession will have their record wiped clean.
  • Cannabis consumption will be forbidden in public areas, against a fine of €233.
  • Creating a legal way in which users can buy cannabis bud and seeds.

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