The news is making the rounds of another country legalizing cannabis. Malta, a European country, voted in the agreement earlier this week. A collection of islands forms the country off the coast of North Africa. The parliament’s decision effectively makes them the first EU nation to fully legalize cannabis on a recreational level. Even though shops won’t be available immediately, the legislation is some of the most ambitious.
According to the BBC, the country’s Nationalist Party initially opposed legalization, claiming it “would only lead to the strengthening of the illegal market, with organized crime taking advantage.” Those who promoted the bill, however, added that it could “curb drug trafficking by making sure that [users] now have a safe and regularized way from where they can obtain cannabis.” Much of the EU is coming around to cannabis but, mostly on a consumer level. Hopefully the country will have a ripple effect.
MALTA CANNABIS LAWS
Malta’s Cannabis reform includes lower fines for public possession. Between seven and 28 grams can land a fine of up to 100 euros. Public consumption can be up to 235 euros while consumption in front of a minor can be up to 500 euros. Minors in possession of cannabis “will be recommended a care or treatment plan as opposed to an arrest or criminal charges.” Malta allows home growing in the new laws as well. Legal-age adults can gain seeds or plants from an “association” to regulate individual consumption. They can grow up to four plants at a time.
It’s peculiar the US hasn’t gotten further legislatively; especially considering the growing cannabis culture and political inclusion . More countries in Africa and Europe are preparing legislation similar to Malta’s at the moment. We continue to be an island of prohibition. Malta’s cannabis sales likely won’t start until next year at least; in the meantime, let’s hope the change of stance can transfer to the US.