[WATCH] PN won’t say if it would repeal cannabis law if in government

“Premature” to say whether PN in government would repeal cannabis law being discussed in parliament, PN spokesperson Peter Agius says

From left to right: MP Karl Gouder, PN Chief Spokesperson Peter Agius and PN candidate Bernice Bonello (Photo:PN)
From left to right: MP Karl Gouder, PN Chief Spokesperson Peter Agius and PN candidate Bernice Bonello (Photo:PN)

The Nationalist Party believes it is "premature" to say whether it will repeal the cannabis law currently being discussed in parliament if elected to government.

Two spokespersons skirted the question when asked whether a PN government will withdraw the law that allows people to possess up to 7g of cannabis, grow their own plants and buy the drug from regulated outlets. Last week, the PN took an official stance against the cannabis law.

In an online press conference, on the party's youth policies, PN Chief Spokesperson Peter Agius said the Nationalist Party took a cautionary position on the cannabis legislation. “The PN made its position clear that Malta should not normalise drug use,” Agius said.

PN MP Karl Gouder said the party does not want anyone to be criminalised for consuming cannabis but believes the proposed law is “imbalanced”.

We asked Gouder and Agius twice, whether a PN government would repeal the legislation but both drifted away from the question and said it is "premature".

"The ball is in the government’s court now. We want an open discussion but it is premature to speak about the law before the government adopts it," Agius said.

The government has a comfortable majority in parliament to pass the legislation and there is no suggestion it will encounter internal dissent.

PN leader Bernard Grech faced stiff resistance within his parliamentary group and had to back down after claiming credit for the draft law proposed by the government. Last month, Grech had welcomed the proposal to have regulated shops from where cannabis can be sold, insisting he had been the first to flag the issue earlier in the year.

But the Opposition leader could not convince MPs to vote for the law and the party came out against it.

PN wants youths to have a future in Malta

Agius said the PN wants to offer a future in Malta for youths, after an EY survey found that 70% want to leave the island for good.

He mentioned the PN proposal to grant a €500 voucher to all 16-21-year-olds to make an experience in a European country. "We are not against youths visiting European countries, and this measure incentivises youths to expand their horizons and then transmit it back to the country."

Gouder said it is very democratic measure and he reiterated that the aim is to have better youths, that want to remain living and working in Malta.

PN candidate Bernice Bonello said that she is proud that youths are a priority for the PN and expressed "shock" at the results of the EY survey. She called for the issues raised by youths to be tackled.