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A large number of organisations representing all sectors of society and a wide range of social partners  have presented a petition to Parliament in final attempt to convince Government to introduce a stronger regulatory framework once it has decided to rush through a bill regulating cannabis use.  The petition has  also been endorsed by Her Excellency Marie Louse Coleiro Preca, President Emeritus.  A number of academics from the University of Malta and other individuals  have also joined the organisations in signing the petition.

The organisations have decided to make this final attempt since they believe this issue is a critical one with far reaching implications for society.  Government has ignored numerous reasonable and balanced amendments and has  remained adamant to pass a very weak regulatory framework which risks leaving a massive negative impact on our society, especially among children, youths and the most vulnerable.

The petition asks Parliament to amend the prosed bill by amending six aspects of the law. The aim is  to create a stronger regulatory framework and mitigate the possible risks to society this law may bring about. The six points being proposed are the following:

  • increase the age when consuming  cannabis would be made legal through the Bill from 18 to 25;
  • increase the distance of cannabis clubs from schools, youth centres and post-secondary institutions from a mere 250 metres to 1 kilometre;
  • double the fines for smoking cannabis in front of children and in public;
  • remove the possibility allowed in the law for cannabis to be grown in residences adjacent to schools;
  • regulate the amount of THC allowed in cannabis;
  • remove the reference to educational campaigns mentioned in the Bill to retain clearly the present situation whereby Government campaigns on drug use focus exclusively on prevention measures explaining the risks of cannabis use.

The petition is asking Members of Parliament to listen to the voices of all organisations, constituted bodies, medical experts , educators, professionals from the psycho-social field, academics , organisations with years of experience in the drug prevention field, former drug users and many others  who have all expressed their serious concerns about this proposed law. 

At this late stage in the parliamentary debate,  the organisations and individuals, representing thousands of stakeholders,  are making a strong appeal to Members of Parliament side  to reflect on the far reaching negative repercussion this law may bring on our society and to at least  introduce these mitigating amendments.

The organisations and individuals presenting the petition are the following:

  1. Caritas Malta
  2. OASI Foundation
  3. Malta Employers’ Association (MEA)
  4. Malta Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  5. Medical Association of Malta (MAM)
  6. Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN)
  7. Malta Chamber of Pharmacists
  8. Gozo Business Chamber
  9. Malta Association of Social Workers
  10. Malta Association of Psychiatry
  11. Secretariat for Catholic Education (SfCE)
  12. Church Schools’ Association
  13. Gozo Tourism Association
  14. Richmond Foundation
  15. Zghazagh Azzjoni Kattolika ZAK
  16. Azzjoni Kattolika
  17. Malta Girl Guides
  18. Home Away from Home
  19. National Foster Care Association Malta
  20. National Parents Society for Persons with Disability
  21. St Jeanne Antide Foundation
  22. Paolo Freire Institute
  23. Millennium Chapel
  24. SOS Malta
  25. Dar Merhba Bik
  26. Youth Alive Foundation
  27. Social Assistance Secretariat
  28. Kummissjoni Djocesana Djakonija
  29. Dar tal-Providenza
  30. Society St Vincent De Paule
  31. Church Homes for the Elderly
  32. Ufficcju Hidma Pastorali mal-Persuni Separati
  33. Mater Dei and Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre Chaplains
  34. RISE Foundation
  35. Dar Hosea
  36. Peace and Good Foundation
  37. Migrants Commission
  38. Kummissjoni Gustizzja u Paci
  39. Osanna Pia Foundation
  40. Fondazzjoni Sebħ
  41. Life Network Foundation
  42. Karl Vella Foundation
  43. Malta CAN (Children’s Associations Network)
  44. National Association of Pensioners
  45. E. President Emeritus Marie Louise Coleiro Preca
  46. Professor Andrew Azzopardi, Dean, Faculty of Social Wellbeing, UoM
  47. Dr Claire Azzopardi Lane, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Social Wellbeing, UoM
  48. Dr Colin Calleja, Dean, Faculty of Education, UoM
  49. Dr Michelle Attard Tonna, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Education, UoM
  50. Dr Sandra Scicluna, Head, Department of Criminology, Faculty for Social Wellbeing UoM
  51. Georgina Debattista, Visiting Senior Lecturer, Faculty for Social Wellbeing, UoM
  52. Max Cassar, Department of Psychology, UoM
  53. Angela Caruana - Children's Rights Activist

The petition can be signed here.

Press Coverage:


Għadd kbir ta’ organizzazzjonijiet li jirrappreżentaw is-setturi kollha tas-soċjetà u firxa wiesgħa ta’ msieħba soċjali ppreżentaw petizzjoni lill-Parlament fl-aħħar tentattiv biex jikkonvinċu lill-Gvern biex jintroduċi qafas regolatorju aktar b’saħħtu ladarba iddeċieda li jgħaġġel abbozz ta’ liġi li jirregola l-użu tal-kannabis. Il-petizzjoni ġiet approvata wkoll mill-Eċċellenza Tagħha Marie Louse Coleiro Preca, President Emeritus. Għadd ta’ akkademiċi mill- Università ta’ Malta u individwi oħra ingħaqdu wkoll mal-organizzazzjonijiet biex jiffirmaw il-petizzjoni.

L-organizzazzjonijiet iddeċidew li jagħmlu dan l-aħħar tentattiv peress li jemmnu li din il-kwistjoni hija waħda kritika b'implikazzjonijiet estensivi għas-soċjetà. Il-Gvern injora bosta emendi raġonevoli u bilanċjati u insista li  jgħaddi qafas regolatorju dgħajjef ħafna li jirriskja li jħalli impatt negattiv kbir fuq is-soċjetà tagħna, speċjalment fost it-tfal, iż-żgħażagħ u l-aktar vulnerabbli.

Il-petizzjoni titlob lill-Parlament biex jemenda l-abbozz ta' liġi billi jemenda sitt aspetti tal-liġi. L-għan huwa li jinħoloq qafas regolatorju aktar b'saħħtu u jittaffew ir-riskji possibbli għas-soċjetà li din il-liġi tista' ġġib magħha. Is-sitt punti li qed jiġu proposti huma dawn li ġejjin:

  • tiżdied l-età meta l-konsum tal-kannabis isir legali permezz tal-Abbozz minn 18 għal 25;
  • tiżdied d-distanza tal-klabbs tal-kannabis minn skejjel, ċentri taż-żgħażagħ u istituzzjonijiet post-sekondarji minn sempliċi 250 metru għal kilometru;
  • tirdoppja l-multi għat-tipjip tal-kannabis quddiem it-tfal u fil-pubbliku;
  • titneħħa l-possibbiltà permessa fil-liġi li l-kannabis titkabbar f’residenzi maġenb l-iskejjel;
  • tiġi regolata l-ammont ta' THC permess fil-kannabis;
  • titneħħa r-referenza għall-kampanji edukattivi msemmija fl-Abbozz ta’ Liġi biex tinżamm b’mod ċar is-sitwazzjoni preżenti fejn il-kampanji tal-Gvern dwar l-użu tad-droga jiffokaw esklussivament fuq miżuri ta’ prevenzjoni li jispjegaw ir-riskji tal-użu tal-kannabis.

Il-petizzjoni qed titlob lill-Membri Parlamentari biex jisimgħu l-vuċijiet tal-organizzazzjonijiet kollha, korpi kostitwiti, esperti mediċi, edukaturi, professjonisti mill-qasam psikosoċjali, akkademiċi, organizzazzjonijiet b’snin ta’ esperjenza fil-qasam tal-prevenzjoni tad-droga, eks-users tad-droga u ħafna  oħrajn li kollha esprimew it-tħassib serju tagħhom dwar din il-liġi proposta.

F’dan l-istadju tard fid-dibattitu parlamentari, l-organizzazzjonijiet u l-individwi, li jirrappreżentaw eluf ta’ partijiet interessati, qed jagħmlu appell qawwi lin-naħa tal-Membri Parlamentari biex jirriflettu fuq ir-riperkussjoni negattiva wiesgħa li din il-liġi tista’ ġġib fuq is-soċjetà tagħna u biex tal-anqas jintroduċu dawn emendi mitiganti.

L-organizzazzjonijiet u l-individwi li qed jippreżentaw il-petizzjoni huma dawn li ġejjin:

  1. Caritas Malta
  2. OASI Foundation
  3. Malta Employers’ Association (MEA)
  4. Malta Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  5. Medical Association of Malta (MAM)
  6. Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN)
  7. Malta Chamber of Pharmacists
  8. Gozo Business Chamber
  9. Malta Association of Social Workers
  10. Malta Association of Psychiatry
  11. Secretariat for Catholic Education (SfCE)
  12. Church Schools’ Association
  13. Gozo Tourism Association
  14. Richmond Foundation
  15. Zghazagh Azzjoni Kattolika ZAK
  16. Azzjoni Kattolika
  17. Malta Girl Guides
  18. Home Away from Home
  19. National Foster Care Association Malta
  20. National Parents Society for Persons with Disability
  21. St Jeanne Antide Foundation
  22. Paolo Freire Institute
  23. Millennium Chapel
  24. SOS Malta
  25. Dar Merhba Bik
  26. Youth Alive Foundation
  27. Social Assistance Secretariat
  28. Kummissjoni Djocesana Djakonija
  29. Dar tal-Providenza
  30. Society St Vincent De Paule
  31. Church Homes for the Elderly
  32. Ufficcju Hidma Pastorali mal-Persuni Separati
  33. Mater Dei and Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre Chaplains
  34. RISE Foundation
  35. Dar Hosea
  36. Peace and Good Foundation
  37. Migrants Commission
  38. Kummissjoni Gustizzja u Paci
  39. Osanna Pia Foundation
  40. Fondazzjoni Sebħ
  41. Life Network Foundation
  42. Karl Vella Foundation
  43. Malta CAN (Children’s Associations Network)
  44. National Association of Pensioners
  45. E. President Emeritus Marie Louise Coleiro Preca
  46. Professor Andrew Azzopardi, Dean, Faculty of Social Wellbeing, UoM
  47. Dr Claire Azzopardi Lane, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Social Wellbeing, UoM
  48. Dr Colin Calleja, Dean, Faculty of Education, UoM
  49. Dr Michelle Attard Tonna, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Education, UoM
  50. Dr Sandra Scicluna, Head, Department of Criminology, Faculty for Social Wellbeing UoM
  51. Georgina Debattista, Visiting Senior Lecturer, Faculty for Social Wellbeing, UoM
  52. Max Cassar, Department of Psychology, UoM
  53. Angela Caruana - Children's Rights Activist

Il-petizzjoni tista' tiġi ffirmatha hawn.