[WATCH] 40,000 have used cannabis at least once in Malta, junior minister says

Government study finds over 40,000 people used cannabis on at least one occasion in Malta, as parliamentary secretary Rosianne Cutajar highlights efforts to draft laws to cater for this social reality

Over 40,000 people use cannabis in Malta, a government study has found
Over 40,000 people use cannabis in Malta, a government study has found

A government study has found that there are over 40,000 people who have used cannabis on at least one occasion in Malta, Rosianne Cutajar has said.

The reforms parliamentary secretary said that, in the 100 days since being entrusted with her portfolio, she had been working on a legislative framework to reduce the stigma connected with cannabis and to ensure the introduction of a law which reflects "the realities of society."

Cutajar was speaking in a video message on Facebook posted on 20 April - 420 in cannabis culture is slang for the use of marijuana.

READ ALSO | MaltaToday Survey | 32,000 say they have used cannabis, but just one in five supports legalisation

"4/20 is a very important day for activists who work tirelessly in favour of those who make personal use of cannabis," Cutajar said.

"While recreational cannabis use in malta is not yet legal, the government has long since set out to be more sensitive to such people."

Cutajar noted that in 2015, the government had decriminalised the possession of cannabis for personal use and had regularised medical cannabis.

"I've always said that I believe someone shouldn't have their criminal record tainted, or end up in prison, simple because they use cannabis. Cannabis use is something shared by people across all social classes and professional educational background," she highlighted.

Politicians such as former US president Barack Obama and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, sports personalities such as Michael Phelps and entrepreneurs like the late Steve Jobs had all admitted using cannabis, she noted.

"It is therefore unjust to put a stigma or create a taboo on those who use cannabis," she added.