Grech brands Labour’s cannabis bill ‘alienation’ from issues that matter

PN leader questions timing of proposed cannabis law when Malta’s greylisting by FATF should be chief priority for country

Opposition leader Bernard Grech
Opposition leader Bernard Grech

Opposition leader Bernard Grech has once again accused the Labour administration of using a Bill to legalise recreational cannabis and home-growing as an “alienation” from the serious matters affecting Malta like the FATF greylisting.

In a phone interview on NET FM, Grech defended the Nationalist Party’s position on the Bill, saying the party had held discussions and reached a cautionary position on cannabis. “We don’t want anyone to end up in prison because of a joint and that is why the PN had voted in favour of decriminalisation in 2015,” Grech said, defending the PN’s position against the proposed bill.

He also referred to the statements by Caritas and the Malta Employers’ Association that spoke about the consequences of the legislation, and urged the government to reconsider its plan to legalise recreational cannabis. “We are not against anyone using marijuana but we don’t want to promote and normalise the use of drugs,” Grech argued.

Grech also accused Labour of having hastened the“uglification” of Malta and said that the PN was fighting back to reverse the damage done. “They blame it all on the 2006 local plans revision but the overdevelopment in the urban centres, is happening under the Labour policies... Labour is choking us everywhere with concrete and the irony is that youths are unable to afford their first property,” Grech said.

The PN leader also spoke about the PN’s proposals for the elderly, which include less taxation and subsidised internet provisions. He accused Labour of “robbing” everyone with water and electricity bills whose erroneous surcharge will not be refunded.

Grech also touched upon the hospitals’ concession deal with Vitals and Steward and said it was clear that the controversial privatisation had taken place due to special interests. He also hit out ata  €60,000 consultancy fee paid to Joseph Muscat  from a Swiss company with clear links to Vitals Global Healthcare.