The Kunsill Studenti Universitarji (KSU) has called for a more detailed white paper on cannabis use in Malta, saying that the current proposals fail to make clear reference to scientific research.
In a statement published today, KSU called for more public awareness on the responsible use of cannabis, the risks and issues associated with using the drug and the importance of harm reduction measures.
“This is necessary to ensure that the personal use of this drug, as the bill turns into law and takes effect, is carried out in a safe and less harmful manner,” it said.
Additionally, the university student body said that the paper fails to specify how cannabis will be made accessible and how its sale will be regulated.
“As it stands, the only access to cannabis would be through the cultivation of such plants within one’s household. The reality faced by thousands of households which cannot run their own private lab to cultivate cannabis is entirely bypassed,” it said.
KSU added that questions pertaining to the possible cannabis market, the licensing, associated fees, requirements of establishments in the industry, advertisement rules, quality control, production and distribution haven’t been addressed in the bill.
Another proposal in the white paper is the establishment of a dedicated Cannabis Authority. KSU said that a minimum yearly budget rather than limiting its funding to any amount of administrative fines given out or through any revenue generated through indirect taxation on cannabis.
Lastly, more emphasis should be put on education, which KSU said is “rather stale” in the paper.
“The White Paper lacks a clear framework for the education of youths when it comes to cannabis,” it said, adding that until responsible use of cannabis is normalised, a nationwide campaign to inform the public needs to take place.
KSU’s feedback has been sent to the Parliamentary Secretariat for Civil Rights and Reforms.
Read Lovin Malta’s take on the White Paper here.
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