Looking for the right thing in the wrong place | Kevin Busuttil

'We are not criminals, we need help,' says AVFDA spokesperson Kevin Busuttil

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Jurgen Balzan
20 July 2014, 7:45am
Kevin Busuttil (Photo: Ray Attard)
Kevin Busuttil (Photo: Ray Attard)
Drug addicts and recovering addicts are calling for involvement in the national debate on the decriminalisation of drugs, with a purposely set up organisation, A Voice for Drug Addicts (AVFDA), aiming to put drug addicts’ experiences at the centre of the debate.

One of the organisation’s mantras says “there is no permanent solution for progressive problems,” and an AVFDA spokesperson, Kevin Busuttil, himself a recovering drug addict, said “if you listen to us you could better understand what addiction is and what kind of help is required”.

Backing the proposals put forward in the recently launched White Paper, which proposes that persons caught in possession of drugs for personal use will no longer face criminal proceedings, Busuttil insisted “we are not criminals, we need help.”

And for this reason, Busuttil together with a number of other recovering addicts, former drug addicts and experts decided to create AVFDA.

Under the proposed law on drug decriminalisation, drug users will no longer face a court sentence but instead appear in front of a justice commissioner and, if deemed necessary, a social board of experts.

An exception for cannabis users is being proposed, with the white paper recommending that cannabis users, including repeat offenders, only appear in front of the commissioner.

Read the full interview in MaltaToday

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Jurgen Balzan joined MaltaToday in 2011, specialising in politics, foreig...