Malta was the first European country last night to legalize recreational cannabis use.
It decriminalized possession and cultivation cannabis for personal use. The island also took steps towards establishing what might be Europe’s first cannabis regulation authority.
Anyone over 18 can possess seven grams and grow up to four cannabis plants. You can have up to 50 grams dried cannabis for your personal use. It is illegal to consume cannabis in public, or when children are present. Fines may be imposed.
New regulations allow the establishment of clubs for non-profit that distribute cannabis plants and seeds to their members. The new regulations also call for the establishment a government-appointed authority responsible for determining the policy regarding cannabis use in the country.
Last night, Malta became the first European country to legalize cannabis recreationally. Picture: After the Malta bill was passed, supporters celebrated.
Although the majority of people supported the passage, the Nationalist Party opposed it. They claimed that the bill would increase and normalize drug abuse in Malta. The president must sign it into law, which usually is a formality.
Expect similar actions in Germany, Switzerland Luxembourg, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands to take place for Europe’s smallest country.
It also plans to have a referendum next year on legalizing cannabis in Italy.
Lovin Malta, a local news site reported that the changes are designed to regulate cannabis use as well as reduce its potential harm.
The site also reported that it aims to safeguard recreational users and stop them from illegally using markets.
Minister for equality Owen Bonnici spoke to Malta Today and stated that he wanted to decrease the suffering, humiliation, and deprivation of rights experienced by many users of cannabis when they were subject to arrests and judicial proceedings regarding small-sized possession.
For personal use, growers can keep up to 50g of dried cannabis.
The Guardian also heard from him: “I am very happy that Malta will become the first country to put words into statutes in a complete manner together with a regulator authority.”
“There’s a growing consensus that the harsh-fist approach to cannabis users was unjust, disproportionate and causing a lot more suffering than people leading extraordinary lives.
“But they use cannabis on a personal basis is what puts them in danger of being arrested.”
The move was criticized by the Nationalist Party of Malta, an opposition party.
According to The Times, its leader Bernard Grech warned in October that a relaxation of laws would only result in the strengthening of illegal markets, and organised crime will take advantage.
Bonnici stated to The Guardian his country’s goal was to minimize harm and not criminalize cannabis use.
A fine between 50 and 100 Euros will be assessed for anyone found with 28 grams of marijuana in their possession.
Robert Abela, the Prime Minister of Malta, after the Bill was passed
Under-18-year-olds found to be in possession of the drug may face justice before a Commission. They will likely receive a recommendation for a treatment plan.
Additionally, anyone found to have consumed cannabis before a child can be punished with a fine of between 300-500 Euros.
Non-profit clubs can also legally grow marijuana in their own homes.
Similar organizations are legal in Spain as well as the Netherlands.
These clubs are limited in number and can only be joined by 500 individuals. A maximum of 50 grams is allowed per month.
The Guardian stated that these organisations can’t be more than 250 m from a club, youth centre or school.
Under-18-year-olds found with the drug in their possession will face a commission to have justice and likely be given a treatment plan. Pictured: After bill passes, supporters celebrated
As Germany’s coalition government took power last month, it was also revealed that Germany would legalize marijuana.
After Angela Merkel’s defeat in national elections, the SPD, Liberal Free Democrats, and Eco-Friendly Greens took over Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU party.
Last month the so-called traffic light coalition laid out their plan for government. They stated that marijuana will be regulated for sale to adult users in licenced shops.
Since legalising medical marijuana in 2017, Germany’s market has become the largest in Europe, selling £154million worth of high-THC products to patients last year, according to New Frontier Data.
The country, which is home to more than 83 million people, could be the largest cannabis market worldwide if cannabis legalization becomes law.
A number of European nations have changed their direction following a UN Decree to eliminate cannabis from its list of potentially addictive drugs.