Malta, a small European country, has been pushing for a cannabis reform for a long time. Although the herb remains illegal in the state, its possession has been significantly decriminalized during the recent years. A growing number of federal institutions, along with Joseph Muscat, the Prime Minister of Malta, are now trying to initiate a “national discussion” on cannabis legalization.
Currently, the citizens of Malta can possess small amounts of weed with almost no criminal penalties and grow one cannabis plant. However, the results of a 2014 survey showed that 9 in 10 people believed that small-time pot consumers should not face jail time, while the majority of citizens supported the idea of marijuana decriminalization.
Muscat has recently stated that, on one hand, he is concerned about the possibility of making it easier for kids to access drugs. On the other hand, he is sure that traffickers currently benefit from the illegal pot status.
The Labour Government also supports the views of the country’s Prime Minister on the issue. It has initiated discussions on the legalization of recreational cannabis to take the herb out of the hands of drug traffickers.
The Nationalist Party of Malta and Partit Demokratiku are also ready to join the debate, which means that three opposite parties are now in favor of making changes in weed laws. The country’s authorities believe they should follow the cannabis legalization models of Portugal and Canada.
It is also believed that the “regularization” of recreational marijuana is likely to reduce tension between the Maltese citizens and the police caused by the fact that many representatives of law enforcement currently do not follow the recent legislative changes.
Still, about 14 percent of Malta residents believe cannabis is as dangerous as all the other harder drugs. Tonio Fenech, Malta’s former finance minister, is among them. He said that legalizing marijuana would not eliminate drug traffickers. At the same time, it can easily harm Maltese children.
However, 70 percent of Maltese residents aged 35 and under support the reform. So, it is likely that Malta will become the next country to make recreational weed legal in the near future.