Cannabis reform will allow users to grow plants for personal use, Robert Abela says

Prime Minister Robert Abela says cannabis users should not go to jail as he fleshes out some aspects of government’s proposed reform

A planned reform will increase the amount of cannabis a person can possess and allow users to grow plants for personal use (File Photo)
A planned reform will increase the amount of cannabis a person can possess and allow users to grow plants for personal use (File Photo)

Cannabis users will not be sent to prison and will be able to grow a limited amount of plants as part of government’s reform, Robert Abela said.

The proposals were fleshed out by the Prime Minister on Thursday morning when speaking to journalists on the fringes of a business breakfast on employment.

This is the first time that a government official has given a clear indication of the direction the promised reform will take.

Abela said Cabinet will shortly be discussing a White Paper that will be published for public consultation. The reform is being piloted by Reforms Parliamentary Secretary Rosianne Cutajar.

F'dawn l-aħħar xhur, ħdimt biex ngħaqqad sett ta' proposti biex nimxu l-quddiem fil-qasam tal-kannabis għal użu...

Posted by Rosianne Cutajar on Thursday, 18 February 2021

He said the reform will end police arrests for people caught in possession of a small amount of cannabis and hinted that the current limit of 3.5g allowed at law would increase. 

He added that the right to grow a small number of cannabis plants for personal use will be considered.

However, Abela insisted government will not go from one extreme to another.

“It cannot be acceptable that a teenager who is caught with a joint is arrested, interrogated and has to appear in court or before the drug tribunal… We need to be responsible too as I don’t believe in extremes,” he said.

Abela’s comments came in the wake of the weekend arrest of a couple who were caught smoking a joint in a hotel room.

It was a Labour Party electoral pledge to initiate a discussion on the legalisation of cannabis but so far, no formal proposals have been put forward despite ongoing consultations.

Earlier this week, Labour deputy leader Daniel Micallef called for legalisation of cannabis, insisting that users should be allowed to do so safely and legally.

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