[WATCH] AD proposes decriminalization of all drugs, legalisation of cannabis

The green party argued that the 'persecution' of drug users serves no purpose to society

AD has proposed the decriminalisation of all drugs, and the legalisation of cannabis
AD has proposed the decriminalisation of all drugs, and the legalisation of cannabis
AD proposes decriminalization of all drugs, legalisation of cannabis

Alternattiva Demokratika Secretary General Ralph Cassar has said that the party was proposing to decriminalise hard drugs, and to legalise the use of cannabis, since the  persecution of drug users was a counterproductive approach that persecuted users.

Describing the party's position as a drugs policy with a human face, Cassar stressed the need for laws that distinguish between different classes of drugs.

He said the aim of the policy would be that of reducing users’ dependency rather than incriminating them and making the problem worse as current enforcement does.

Cassar explained that AD’s policy revolves around two main pillars: the decriminalisation of all hard drugs and the legalisation of cannabis.

"People who use drugs are in need of other services, and should not be persecuted,” said Cassar, who stressed the need for work within communities to address drug problems.  

“We are looking at the Portuguese model which is giving good results and we are insisting that there be professional advisors to guide policy.”

Moreover, Cassar insisted that the policy should also be flexible, and able to adapt itself to the emergence of new synthetic drugs.

Turning to cannabis, he said AD was calling for legalisation of the drug, as had happened in Colorado in the USA and in Uruguay, adding that the effects of the drug were considered to be less serious than those associated with the use of alcohol and tobacco. 

He said that excessive red-tape should be removed from the procurement and use of medicinal cannabis, while cultivation should also be allowed without being taxed.

“The point we are emphasising is for there to be legal regulation of cannabis,” said Cassar.

He acknowledged that while some progress had been made, through the government’s decriminalisation of the drug, the present system still means that those caught were persecuted, and were using up law enforcement unnecessarily.

Party chairman Arnold Cassola said that the issue of drug use should be shifted from a criminal one, to one that is viewed in social terms, and that a new classification should be implemented that distinguishes between hard drugs, and less harmful ones.

Above all, he stressed the need to focus law enforcement efforts on combating traffickers, rather than youngsters caught “smoking a joint”.

"Let’s take away this million Euro business," he added.

Asked what extent of government regulation the party was envisaging for the proposed policy, Cassar said that while there were various models, the preferred model would be to have licensed distributors and for the drug to be taxed in the same way cigarettes and alcohol were.