New judge: drug decriminalisation is not the solution

Judge Edwina Grima says that a legal distinction between certain types of drug use and possession is needed, not decriminalisation

Judge Edwina Grima (File photo by Ray Attard)
Judge Edwina Grima (File photo by Ray Attard)

Madame Justice Edwina Grima has declared that drug decriminalisation was no answer to solving drug abuse or trafficking, but said that legal amendments should provide a clear distinction between first-time users, soft and hard drugs, and profiteering traffickers.

“The way forward in fighting drug trafficking and abuse is not by decriminalising the offence but amending the law whereby first time offenders and victims of drug abuse are helped to rehabilitate themselves,” the newly appointed judge said in her first address.

After seven years of serving as magistrate, Grima today gave her first speech as a judge, where she will be presiding the Court of Inferior Appeals.

Addressing a packed courtroom, Grima said that in the past three years of dealing with cases of drug abuse had brought her "face to face with the despair of the victims... as in most cases I heard, the accused would indeed be the victim”.

While welcoming the idea of possible law amendments concerning drug abuse, Grima said that a clear distinction had to be made between first-time offenders, those who share and sell for personal use and those who traffic drugs for money.