The Malta Independent 6 June 2023, Tuesday
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Anger at Dar Ċentrali: PN position on cannabis not discussed by party executive committee

Sunday, 14 November 2021, 08:00 Last update: about 3 years ago

The Nationalist Party parliamentary group did not discuss its stand on the cannabis bill with the party’s executive committee before issuing a statement criticising the proposals as they “would normalise and increase drug abuse in Malta”.

The statement was issued on Friday evening, triggering an internal commotion as members of the party’s executive and administrative committees felt they had been “excluded” from the decision which, they said, would cause more harm than good to the party’s electoral chances.


On Friday, the PN parliamentary group issued a statement denouncing government’s proposed legalisation of cannabis.

The group said it had concluded “detailed” discussions about the bill which would legalise the use of cannabis, having consulted with groups, organisations and private individuals who work in this sector.

But this “consultation” did not include the executive committee, of which the parliamentary group forms part, sources in the PN confirmed to The Malta Independent on Sunday.

It is normal, the sources said, that before the party takes an official position on policy, the matter is brought up before the executive committee. But this was not done, the sources said. 

The administrative committee of the party was also left out of the debate, they added.

The members of the two committees learnt of the PN parliamentary group’s decision from news portals, which carried the group’s statement. Some of them were described as “fuming” at the way the parliamentary group ran roughshod over the committees on such an important matter.

“It is said that the party wants to attract the young voters, but what the parliamentary group did with its decision (on the cannabis bill) pushed them further away,” the sources said.

In its statement on Friday, the PN parliamentary group said that in 2015 cannabis had been decriminalised for personal use, noting that the group had supported that amendment.

However, the statement said that the new bill, as proposed by government, would “normalise and increase drug abuse in our country”.

In reply, the Labour Party said that the Nationalist Party first says the cannabis bill as presented was copied from its own proposals, and now it says it is very much against it.

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