The Malta Independent 25 May 2020, Monday

Cannabis should be made available for those over 21; ReLeaf launches pro-legalisation manifesto

Julian Bonnici Saturday, 14 October 2017, 12:06 Last update: about 4 years ago

Adults over the age of 21 should be allowed to legally possess up to 30 grams of cannabis, grow up to six marijuana plants, and purchase a maximum of 5 grams from a licensed vendor, newly-formed pressure group ReLeaf has announced in its manifesto on legalisation and regulation of cannabis.

A residential home would be able to grow up to 12 plants (assuming more than one individual resides at the property), and may also be able to grow up to 24 plants following a special exception from the relevant authorities, the manifesto read.

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"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 manner," it reads.

Both the PL and PN pledged during the general election that they would support a national discussion on the subject.

The group, who released the manifesto at an event in front of Parliament, drew inspiration for the manifesto from five different models from over the world, Uruguay, the Netherlands, Spain, Colorado (USA), and Canada.

The manifesto insists that anyone found selling cannabis to minors be harshly punished, while also endorsing fines on those in breach of regulations.

It also calls for the amnesty of those individuals convicted of crimes related to cannabis if the offence was not violent in nature.

20% - 30% of the income generated should be tax and allocated to the improvement of education on drug rehabilitation, and roadside enforcement.

The group says that it has six major short-term objectives; the establishment, control and regulation of the Maltese cannabis industry; the assurance of access to medicinal cannabis; the removal of punitive measures and criminalisation; a legal cannabis industry; quality testing facilities; and the eradication of criminal networks.

Medical cannabis should be treated as a medicine on par with other prescription medicines and taxed as such, this would be further endorsed by Dr Andrew Agius who was speaking at the event.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat recently revealed that discussions on the introduction of medical cannabis will begin this coming November.

The manifesto proposes the setting up of a regulatory department within a ministry to distribute the following six licenses; A (Commercial Licence to sell cannabis); B (growing cannabis on an industrial level); C (Distributor Licence); D (Small Business Licence); E (Social Club Licence); F(Research and Development for Academic and Scientific use)

The Social Club License, which is used in Spain, allows an establishment to grow the plants on an individual's behalf.

From a commercial aspect, the manifesto advocates that cannabis-related businesses operate within commercial zones, at least 100m away from schools and other youth-based establishments, and have the appropriate licensing.

It also calls for further educational programs on the dangers of drugs and the consequences of drug use.

Tourists would be able to purchase cannabis.

 Read the full document at http://releaf.com.mt/en/manifesto.html 


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