Cannabis sharing still at risk of prosecution, reform lobby warns

ReLeaf calls for repeal of law that facilitates the arrest and prosecution of law-abiding citizens for sharing cannabis

Malta’s cannabis reform lobby ReLeaf has urged immediate action from the authorities to repeal an outdated law that facilitates the arrest and prosecution of law-abiding citizens for sharing cannabis.

“The current legal framework fosters stigma and disproportionately penalises individuals interacting in responsible non-commercial cannabis sharing or gifting,” ReLeaf president Andrew Bonello said.

“Urgent reform is essential to rectify this imbalance, ensuring legal measures align with collective viewpoints and principles of fairness and equity. Failure to address this disparity perpetuates a disconnection between legislative mandates and community values, undermining the credibility of reforms aimed at promoting social justice.”

ReLeaf said it wants the abolition of legal action on the sharing and gifting of cannabis amongst consenting adults without any monetary transactions, saying this would align with the ethos of the recent partial decriminalisation amendments.

Bonello said the amendment is pivotal in safeguarding communities against unwarranted persecution. “The persistence of such punitive laws runs contrary to the principles advocated by the government. Retaining legal tools that facilitate prosecution undermines the core principles and objectives of the reforms initiated...

“There is a compelling need for immediate action by the government to rectify these incompatibilities within the legal framework. The urgency lies in aligning laws with the progressive and inclusive principles advocated by civil society and the government's own commitment to justice and fairness.”