The Government White Paper on Cannabis decriminalisation should be rewritten following studies on the legal procurement of cannabis and market regulation, amongst others, The Malta Chamber has said.
Citing omissions in the white paper around particular issues, including enforcement, the procurement of seeds, and exactly which strains would be legal, the Chamber called for the Government to rewrite it to “ensure that the resulting legislation is safe, enforceable, and effective”.
In its comprehensive response to the paper, the Chamber proposed five steps that should be taken.
Firstly, it called for the decriminalising of personal use.
Then, it advocated for a number of studies to be carried out, especially around: THC limits, mental health impact, market regulation, legal procurement, impact on illicit drug sales, limits on cultivation for use, substance abuse prevention, and addictions treatment.
Then, The Malta Chamber said, the Government should conduct a consultation process on health and safety, enforcement guidelines, and the impact on the medical cannabis industry.
Subsequently, the white paper will need to be rewritten, the Chamber commented.
The Chamber also called for a strong education on the consequences of cannabis use.
The Government white paper released in March, titled “Towards the Strengthening of the Legal Framework on the Responsible use of Cannabis”, proposed several measures to take steps towards the destigmatisation of cannabis users.
Centre to the proposals, it presented the idea for the decriminalisation of up to seven grams of cannabis possession and allows for the personal cultivation of up to four cannabis plants per household for private consumption.
However, it failed to propose a framework by which users would be able to legally acquire cannabis or the seeds which would be required to grow it domestically.
The consultation period on the white paper ended this week, and several groups have issued responses.
Notably, one of the more progressive responses came from the Labour Party, which called for the reform to allow cannabis users a chance to access the plant without coming into contact with criminals.
To do so, it has called for the creation of a legal way for people to obtain cannabis and cannabis seeds, and called for the establishment of social clubs, for users to be able to visit safely and consume cannabis in a regulated manner.
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