The Malta Independent 3 December 2021, Friday

Politicians need more humane approach to cannabis users – Releaf

Jake Aquilina Monday, 15 February 2021, 14:02 Last update: about 11 months ago

Politicians need to have a more humane approach towards people who use cannabis and a change in law in this regard is needed, NGO Releaf said in a statement. 

Releaf is a community-based NGO that seeks the regulation of cannabis in Malta through safe and sensible policies. 

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Their reaction comes after the arrest of a couple – a 21-year-old man from Ħamrun and a 19-year-old woman from Żabbar – in a hotel room in St Julian’s after they were found with a small bag of what is suspected to be cannabis and a half-smoked joint over the weekend. 

Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri has hinted at cannabis legislative changes, while Roberta Metsola also voiced her concern over the arrest, after tweeting: “Are we really still charging teenagers for smoking a joint in a hotel room?”  

“It is encouraging to see that various high level persons in local and regional politics are shocked that a Maltese couple has been arrested on Valentine's day for a few grams of cannabis. Nonetheless, it is these same politicians that continue to deny a change in law and the introduction of a more humane and human rights based approach.” 

The organisation called on to the government to change its laws so that people who smoke cannabis for personal use do not be treated as criminals. 

“Once more ReLeaf Malta calls on the local Government to address these human rights abuses against people who consume, cultivate and share cannabis.” 

The NGO said that has a meeting organised with the Minister for Home Affairs as well as Commissioner for Police so that the Government and police observe what the community needs. 

“ReLeaf Malta looks forward to meeting Minister Byron Camilleri and the Assistant Commissioner for Police Dennis Theuma to ensure local enforcement agents actions are socially aligned to the needs of the community.”

 

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