The law, which was approved yesterday by 36 votes to 27, allows adults in Malta to possess up to 7 grams of cannabis and grow up to 4 plants. Also, it allows non-profit associations of up to 500 people to grow the plant for members.
However, public consumption of cannabis and consumption in front of a child remains illegal and punishable. And adults in possession of more than 7 grams, and up to 28 grams of cannabis, face a tribunal rather than a court, and a maximum €100 fine.
Equality Minister, Owen Bonnici, who promoted this bill, said that this “historic” move provides “a safe and regularised way” to obtain cannabis, and it will ease the criminal justice system by “stopping to treat people who are not criminals like criminals”.
On the contrary, the church and medical associations, and the opposition Nationalist Party opposed the bill, by saying that it would lead to “normalization and increase of drug abuse”.
The EU’s smallest member state, and one of the most conservative countries in Europe is setting an example, and showing the “liberal” countries how it is done. 10 years ago, Malta was “the only country in the Europe, besides Vatican City, to not allow divorce”. 10 years later, it is the top LGBTQ friendly country in EU, and it just became a leader in regulating cannabis.