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The new cannabis authority’s executive chairperson, psychotherapist Mariella Dimech, has been fired.

Despite the absence of a statement from the government, Dimech said that the Home Affairs Ministry informed her on Thursday that her position was being terminated with immediate effect.

In an interview with Times of Malta, Mariella claims that ‘Over the last 10 months, I have worked with no functional office, no staff, no budget and a political strategy and decision strategy I disagreed with’. 

At the end of 2021, Malta became the first nation in the EU to legalise cannabis use and possession. The new organisation serves as a regulator for non-profit organizations that are now permitted to grow and distribute cannabis to authorized members. Additionally, it is in charge of instructional campaigns.

Dimech was the first to head the organisation that oversees cannabis use in a responsible manner. She was chosen earlier this year, and her appointment called for a three-year tenure. Dimech said that due to her extensive knowledge and track record in dealing with drug usage and harm, Prime Minister Robert Abela had “personally approached” her. She was in charge of establishing the legal framework for non-profit cannabis associations that aimed to grow marijuana for their members.

‘I hope that any future policy implementation will recognise the great sensitivity of this initiative and ensure that the first priority is not financial gain of the few over the general interests and fabric of our national communities’. 

In order to serve drug users and their families, Dimech worked for the drug rehabilitation agency Caritas for 21 years, the last 10 of which she spent as the coordinator of all Tama Gdida radio programs and services. She was in charge of developing therapeutic plans for all of the organisation’s services in her capacity as coordinator. She also oversaw the San Blas Therapeutic Community for six years.

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