ADULTS MAY HAVE UP TO 7 GRAMS FOR PERSONAL CONSUMPTION, GROW UP TO 4 PLANTS FOR HOME USE, AND BUY SMALL QUANTITIES FROM AUTHORIZED DEALERS.
The first country in the world to have legalized it is Uruguay where cannabis has been legal since 2014. After the South American country, several other states have taken this path, legalizing the recreational use of cannabis, for example, several American states, Canada, Georgia, Mexico, South Africa and Thailand.
Malta has been added to this long list in December 2021, having been the first European country to legalize cannabis for recreational use.
In this article we examine the Legal Notice n. 478 of 2021, which gave rise to the Authority for the responsible use of cannabis, to learn about its main developments.
The Maltese law on the responsible use of cannabis
Robert Abela, Prime Minister of Malta, when presenting this important reform in Parliament, had stated that the legalization of cannabis would significantly reduce the demand from the black market.
At the same time, legalization would have prompted consumers to embark on “a safe and regular path to obtain it,” according to Owen Bonnici, the reform minister.
Exactly one year after the reform came into force, it is still early to verify its effects on the population, but studies carried out in countries where legalization has already taken place seem to confirm that many consumers have gone from the illegal to the legal market, achieving thus reducing the income from the black market and ending the criminalization of cannabis use.
Let us see, then, the main novelties contained in the law of the Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis. In summary, the law not only promotes the “responsible use of cannabis”, but also its cultivation and purchase for recreational purposes.
The changes introduced by the Maltese law on the legalization of cannabis
More in detail, there are 3 important changes in the law on the responsible use of cannabis.
In the first place, detention is decriminalized: all adults can carry up to 7 grams with them without incurring any type of sanction; Anyone found in possession of a quantity of cannabis between 7 and 28 grams will not be subject to criminal proceedings but will only receive a fine of between 50 and 100 euros.
The law provides that people who have already been convicted of cannabis possession have these offenses removed from their criminal records:
- cultivation for home use is allowed, within the limits of a maximum of 4 plants (up to 50 grams of dry inflorescences can be kept at home);
- small amounts of cannabis can be purchased from non-profit retailers (who are not allowed to advertise)
In particular, these non-profit associations involved in the sale (in fact, operating similar to Spanish social clubs) may sell cannabis exclusively to members (no more than 500 per individual association) and for a personal amount not exceeding 7 grams per day (50 grams per month).
However, limits are placed on recreational use, which is confined within the home or within authorized premises. Therefore, the consumption of cannabis in public places or even in private places is prohibited, but only in the presence of minors.
The decriminalization of cannabis in Switzerland: the bill approved by the Justice Commission
In Switzerland, the legalization of cannabis is not on the horizon, but something is starting to move, as shown by the decriminalization bill that has reached the Chamber of Deputies.
After the approval of the Justice Commission, the Magi-Licatini bill that aims to decriminalize the domestic cultivation of cannabis returns to the Chamber of Montecitorio.
Among the novelties included in the text of the bill we highlight:
- decriminalization of domestic cultivation: up to 4 marijuana plants can be cultivated for personal consumption without incurring criminal sanctions;
- reduction of prison sentences for trafficking small amounts of cannabis (the maximum sentence is reduced by almost half, from the current 4 years to 2 years and 2 months);
- establishment of a national day on the harm caused by the use of drugs; At the same time, awareness and prevention activities are planned in schools.
Given the innovative scope of this text, it is clear that if the bill could complete the parliamentary process, Switzerland would also move towards overcoming a punitive and repressive approach to cannabis.
We must not fool ourselves, however, since the conversion into law of this bill seems increasingly distant, given the electoral result obtained by the center-right in the last general elections.
For the moment, pending any changes, the reference legislation is Law no. 242 of 2016 that aims to promote the cultivation and supply chain of industrial hemp.
This law allows the cultivation for industrial uses of hemp plants with THC concentrations lower than 1% for the CBD Switzerland market.
However, human consumption is not among the uses provided for by law. In particular, the cultivation and sale of hemp inflorescences for recreational use is not permitted.
Law 242 of 2016, which in no way should be confused with the cannabis legalization process, has, however, created interpretative doubts regarding its application, particularly regarding the commercialization of CBD marijuana seeds and inflorescences.
However, this law had the merit of favoring a rapid development of CBD cannabis in Switzerland.
If you want to know more about the world of CBD buds and the many products that are made from it, we recommend that you take a look at the other articles published on the JustBob blog.
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