By ReLeaf Malta and Moviment Graffitti
The historical reform enacted by the Maltese government in through 2021 Act No. LXVI establishing the Authority on the Responsible Use of Cannabis and advancing various laws relating to certain cannabis activities, has been heralded by many international experts as a positive development [Rolles 2021]. Most importantly the reform affirmed that a person does not forfeit its human rights by using a mind-altering substance or engage in other risky behaviour. On the contrary, by prioritising a human rights approach to drug policy, domestic legislation is now closer in alignment with international human rights norms, and better equipped to promote the health and welfare of mankind. (UNDP, 2020)
Strong provisions to safeguard public health, human rights, personal freedoms and autonomy, are the cornerstone of such a reform. This approach has been done whilst taking due considerations for:
- The wrongdoings and structural abuses of the past.
- The need to frame drug policy within broader human rights considerations, including a strong Harm Reduction approach.
- the importance of keeping in full view injustices and discrimination still faced by people who consume cannabis in Malta.