It’s beginning to look a lot like Malta will pass a landmark cannabis reform bill into law before the festive season.
We just might make it before Christmas…
Late last week, the bill passed its second reading in Parliament, with all the government MPs voting in favour of the bill and all the opposition MPs voting against the bill. Opposition leader, Bernard Grech opted against taking part in the weed debate, claiming that he wanted to give a chance to other MPs to have a platform. The PN parliamentary group’s decision to oppose the bill proved controversial since Grech had given signals in favour of regulation and had even taken credit for the bill when it was published by the government.
It is now time to move onto the final stage, the Consideration of Bills Committee. This is where the MPS will discuss in more detail anything concerning the proposed law. It is common knowledge that bills can be stuck in this phase for a very long time. However, the cannabis reform does not look like it will take months to get closed under wraps, unlike the Equality Bill.
Reforms Minister Owen Bonnici claims that the plan is for the cannabis debate to start early this week, as early as Monday 29th November. After the debate gets through the committee stage, the minister will present it for its third reading, before it officially becomes a law. Owen Bonnici claims that there is no intention to delay this bill any longer.
The cannabis reform bill proposes that individuals will be able to carry up to seven grams of marijuana on them and grow up to four plants in the comfort of their own homes. Signs of arrest will only happen if there is reasonable suspicion of trafficking marijuana.
Individuals found in possession of 7g to 28g of marijuana will appear in front of a tribunal instead of a criminal court. Before this bill, the threshold was merely that of 3.5g.
The bill also proposes the formulation of regulated cannabis associations and NGOs which will be officially licensed to grow marijuana on behalf of its members.
Keep checking out our blog for more tips and updates on cannabis in Malta!