Sedqa has said that by the revealed white paper, the federal government appears to be sitting on the fence between decriminalisation and legalization and the result’s a place which is neither right here nor there. This comes after a proposal by the federal government to permit and legalise rising restricted cannabis crops at dwelling and carrying as much as 7g of the drug in public.
Sedqa, along with the Foundation for Social Welfare Services, stated that it’s completely in settlement with the proposal to decriminalise the usage of cannabis. However, it added that this must be carried out “with caution and across the board”, as the present white paper lacks readability.
In a doc titled ‘FSWS – Sedqa’s Position on the Cannabis Reform White Paper’, it said that Malta can not have a scenario the place younger folks aged 21 years and over could use cannabis freely as a result of it’s not a legal act whereas these beneath 21 are nonetheless penalised as a result of cannabis use would nonetheless be a legal act for them. Thus, efficient mechanisms must be in place to make sure that weak youths don’t develop into double victims, i.e. of cannabis habit and of the sharks who function the black market.
It additionally added that it doesn’t condone the legalisation of any psychoactive substance as a result of threat of normalisation of use, doubtless elevated consumption and the concomitant threat in of growing substance use dysfunction. Nevertheless, it might not oppose legalisation if there have been a transparent technique in direction of hurt discount and correctly knowledgeable alternative.
Sedqa can also be in full settlement with the expungement of legal data.
A public well being problem reasonably than legal problem
Sedqa begins from the place that substance use dysfunction (SUD) must be labeled as a public well being problem reasonably than a legal problem. It believes that criminalising SUDs is dangerous and stigmatising to each people and the broader neighborhood. Further to its public well being stance, Sedqa believes that adults under the age of 21 mustn’t eat any kind of psychoactive substance whether or not or not it’s authorized or not.
Urge for discussions
Sedqa stated that its administration solely participated in a single dialogue with the previous Parliamentary Secretary answerable for Reforms approach again in January, 2018. There, the then Operations Director and the then Medical Director of Sedqa had registered that they may not agree with this proposed reform.
Following that, the current administration of Sedqa had a gathering with a member of the technical committee round two years in the past the place our message was that if the federal government needed to hold on with its proposed Cannabis Reform agenda (primarily based on its electoral mandate), then this must be accompanied with elevated funding for elevated prevention initiatives in relation to the upcoming cannabis legislation reform.
Sedqa welcomed the federal government’s drive in direction of decriminalisation, as each the complete decriminalisation for possession of as much as 7 grams of cannabis and partial decriminalisation for between 7 to twenty-eight grams of cannabis for private use since this is able to considerably scale back legal proceedings. Nevertheless, Sedqa cautions the federal government into noting that this main shift in quantities (from the unique partial decriminalisation of three.5 grams of cannabis for private use) locations Malta into the third-highest place of decriminalised possession amongst the EU states (behind Sweden and Cyprus respectively).
Designated locations for cannabis consumption
According to the white paper, cannabis can’t be consumed in public locations, nor in entrance of minors. This would imply that many wouldn’t have the ability to eat cannabis at dwelling. Therefore, Seqda suggested in favour of locations the place cannabis may be consumed legally, designated by the correct authorities. These locations must be managed to guarantee that minors usually are not allowed in, people who find themselves getting too intoxicated are suggested to cease utilizing cannabis, and individuals who could really feel sick could also be referred to a medical centre.