Drugs law passes through second reading, consensus reached on crackdown on drug barons

Draft bill on Drug Dependence approved through second reading • next up is committee stage

A draft bill on Drug Dependence (Treatment not Imprisonment) has passed through its second reading in parliament where a number of MPs from both sides of the House had their say on how the law should be improved.

Tabled in parliament by justice minister Owen Bonnici, the Drug Dependence (Treatment not Imprisonment) allows for the prescription of medicinal preparations of the cannabis plant by a specialist physician if no viable alternative exists. The use of the plant may also be prescribed by a specialist physician with the approval of the Superintendent of Public Health, who may also impose conditions on its use.

Both sides of the House agreed that a crackown on drug barons should intensify while victims of drug abuse should be rehabilitated.

The drugs law will now be discussed at committee stage where amendments put forward will be adopted.