Cannabis legislation in Malta may soon be less restrictive than in the UK. The Maltese Social Democrats, the Partit Laburista, are currently initiating a legislative reform that would legalize the possession of seven grams of cannabis and punish the possession of up to 28 grams with only a fine.
The executive council of the Maltese Social Democrats, governing party that has a 55 percent majority in Malta and has been the prime minister since 2017, has now approved a series of legislative changes.
As a result, it has been proposed that possession of seven grams of cannabis for personal use will be legal, and possession of seven up to 28 grams will only be subject to a fine. This will be imposed in a trial before the Commissioner of Justice. On condition that the plants are securely kept away from children and grown in an area not accessible to the public, a maximum of four cannabis plants may be grown per household. Such plants are for personal consumption only and may not be trafficked.
Malta plans to create a cannabis authority to regulate and monitor the cannabis market. In doing so, Malta is following Canada’s example. Distribution of cannabis shall take place via licensed dispensaries and products shall be provided with an instruction leaflet. In addition, the Maltese government wants to allow consumption in public in designated areas such as smoking rooms. Exactly how the authority will operate will not be worked out until the public consultation process is complete.
The Maltese points of view
Within Malta, there are two opposing groups concerning this issue. Proponents say the liberalization by the Social Democrats does not go far enough, whereas prohibitionists compare the changes to “opening Pandora’s box”.