This piece was originally published for Insite Malta.
With the government publishing a white paper proposing a decriminalised framework for responsible cannabis use on March 30, Malta is finally discussing an issue which has long been around. Cannabis reform has been a difficult field to navigate in Malta with current laws doing little to protect young people and vulnerable groups. However, reform appears to be firmly on the cards now and Malta is in a promising position to see change. In light of these developments, now is an excellent opportunity to discuss the real prospect for reforming Malta’s cannabis laws.
The European Cannabis Advocacy Network in partnership with the NGO ReLeaf Malta are holding a free webinar on Thursday April 22 at 19:00-21:00. The webinar will consist of a panel discussion with an excellent and diverse selection of speakers.
The panel will comprise of:
- President of ReLeaf Malta: Andrew Bonello
- MP Claudette Buttigieg
- CEO of Agenzija Zghazagh: Miriam Teuma
- MaltaToday Journalist: Raphael Vassallo
- Deputy Leader of Labour Party Affairs: Daniel Micallef
- Directorate for the Minister for Justice, Equality and Governance: Dr Desiree Attard.
The event will touch upon a variety of topics surrounding the introduction of an initial decriminalised system in Malta.
The accumulation of events that have led to the white paper being introduced will also be discussed. A prime focus will be placed on the need for a sensible, pragmatic approach to policy and whether we can expect meaningful change. This will tie into what a sensible model for proposed decriminalisation could look like and why this is necessary in Malta.
Given significant amounts of opposition to reform, the ways in which this can be addressed and resolved in a constructive manner will be highlighted. The need to protect young and vulnerable communities will remain at the heart of the discussion, along with how cannabis decriminalisation can be a tool for the police to be a guardian for wellbeing in society.
The reasons for the disconnect between public and political support in Malta will be touched upon. Along with this, how to best educate the public on what entails a decriminalised system will be discussed. This will show us how we can ensure positive action takes place and how we can streamline public and political support.
The upcoming event is not aimed at incentivising cannabis culture but to lessen the harms of current policy by focusing on a humane and inclusive approach to opening momentum for insightful discussions on the topic.
For a free ticket, you can register here.
This piece was written by Katya Kowalski, Stakeholder Engagement Officer at Volteface. Tweets @KowalskiKatya