The passed law enables adults to buy cannabis and seeds for growing.
Malta was the first European country to legalize smoking and the cultivation of marijuana for personal use; trade will remain illegal. The legalization of cannabis is one of the goals and the new ruling coalition of Germany, but they allow it to be sold in specialized stores. Correspondent.net tells the details.
Marijuana smokers’ clubs
The Parliament of Malta voted in favor of a bill allowing restricted cultivation, purchase and storage of cannabis for personal recreational use.
On the evening of December 14, 36 deputies of the House of Representatives of Malta voted for the law, 27 opposed. Within a few days, the document must be approved by the President of Malta, George Vell.
“Parliament approved a cannabis law that will allow consumers to carry, buy and grow drugs, making Malta the first European country to introduce laws regulating the use of cannabis for recreational purposes,” writes the Sunday Times of Malta.
The publication reports that the law allows adults to buy cannabis and seeds for cultivation. They will be distributed through special associations working in the format of non-profit organizations.
Malta is the first European country to allow limited cultivation and possession of cannabis for personal use. A new law allows adults to possess up to seven grams of cannabis and grow up to four plants https://t.co/xK7fZS1Gvc pic.twitter.com/RdY0FNsbVZ
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 15, 2021
Such “clubs” of smokers will grow cannabis for distribution to members who do not want to grow cannabis at home, up to a maximum of seven grams per day and 50 grams per month. You can only be a member of one association.
Consumers will be able to freely own up to seven grams of cannabis and grow up to four bushes. If a person keeps more than seven grams, but less than 28 grams of cannabis, they can be fined up to 100 euros.
At the same time, the consumption of marijuana in public places remains illegal and will be punished with a fine of 235 euros, and in the case of smoking with children – from 300 to 500 euros.
Legalizing marijuana: pros and cons
“We are trying to convince people not to smoke cannabis, but we will not treat those who smoke as criminals. The drug trade will remain illegal,” said Prime Minister Robert Abela during a parliamentary debate.
Anyone who has been tried for possession of cannabis can apply to have their criminal record cleared.
With the law, the Maltese government is trying to tackle the problem from a harm reduction perspective by regulating the sector so that people don’t have to buy cannabis on the black market, Abela said.
He also said that he wants to protect parents from the psychological trauma that occurs when their child is arrested for “joint”.
One of the initiators of the new law was the Minister for Equality, Owen Bonnici.
“There is now an understanding that the harsh treatment of cannabis users was disproportionate, unfair and caused a lot of suffering for law-abiding people. The fact that they use cannabis for personal purposes turned them into criminals,” the Guardian newspaper quoted him as saying.
He noted that the government is not encouraging adults to use cannabis and is not promoting a culture of marijuana consumption.
“The government always encourages citizens to make health choices,” he wrote in a Sunday column in the Sunday Times of Malta.
In a number of European countries, cannabis consumption is tolerated: in Spain, under certain conditions, they turn a blind eye to this, and in the Czech Republic and Portugal personal use is decriminalized.
Cannabis remains banned in the Netherlands, although small quantities are allowed in coffee shops in the country.
Malta became the first EU country to allow both personal consumption and cultivation. The plans to create a regulated marijuana market were previously announced by the authorities of Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland.
The parties belonging to the new German government, in a coalition agreement, consolidated the goal of introducing “controlled sale of cannabis to adults for consumption in licensed stores.”
The German Cannabis Producers Union welcomed this provision of the coalition agreement and expressed its conviction that “many countries will follow this example and will also legalize cannabis.”
It is noteworthy that the “green” Cem Ozdemir became the Minister of Agriculture, who in 2014 got on the video with a marijuana bush on his balcony.
The case brought against the politician was soon closed for the insignificance of the offense, and he himself later claimed that it was no coincidence that the plant got into the frame. Thus, they say, Ozdemir wanted to support the political demand of his party to legalize cannabis.
In Ukraine, the issue of legalizing marijuana is being discussed. So, in April of this year, the government excluded from the list of drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors of some cannabis-based drugs.
And in November, the Ministry of Health published a bill to legalize medical cannabis for public comment. In July, the Verkhovna Rada sent the document back for revision.
If the law is passed, patients will have access to cannabis treatment, which facilitates the course of complex diseases, and scientists and the pharmaceutical industry will be able to conduct clinical trials according to international standards.
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