While welcoming the government’s publishing of a White Paper titled ‘Towards the Strengthening of the Legal Framework on the Responsible Use of Cannabis’ on 30th March 2021, KSU and its Social Policy Commission (KPS) are calling on the government to provide more detail on the proposed reform. The results of a soon-to-be-published survey commissioned by KSU through MISCO clearly show that this reform is necessary in order to reflect the realities faced in today’s society. This is further compounded by the fact that this subject has been at the forefront of the national agenda for some time now, and the White Paper as presented simply does not cut it.
The White Paper fails to make clear reference to scientific research carried out by experts in the field or to peer-reviewed journals. Definitions on key terms which can drastically alter the upcoming bill and its prospective effects on Maltese society are absent, resulting in a lack of clarity on what is being proposed by the government.
As the White Paper stands, the only access to cannabis would be through the cultivation of such plants within one’s household. No specifications are given as to the relevant enforcement. The reality faced by thousands of households which cannot run their own private lab to cultivate cannabis is entirely bypassed. Of particular note are the scant proposals in relation to education, which KSU believes to be of the utmost importance in the run-up to and after this reform is enacted.
KSU therefore calls on the government to present supplementary detail to the White Paper as proposed. For civil society to actively contribute in a truly meaningful process of public consultation, the legislator must present more detail and concrete proposals to that effect.
This position is endorsed by the following student organisations: ALLT, ASCS, Betapsi, CSA, ELSA Malta, ESO, GħSL, ICTSA, Insite, JCA, JEF Malta, KSJC, MAKE, MHSA, MIRSA, MKSA, MUHS, PULSE, S-Cubed, SACES, SDM, SĦS, The Third Eye, TSA, UESA, UM Futsal, UM Rowing and USPA.