Under the new law, possession of up to seven grams of marijuana will be legal for people under the age of 18, and they will be able to grow up to four cannabis plants in their own home. Also, up to 50 grams of product can be legally stored in the home.
Possession of up to 28 grams will be punished only with a fine of between 50 and 100 euros. People under the age of 18 who are caught with cannabis will appear before a special commission and will no longer risk imprisonment. Those who use cannabis in the presence of a child will have to pay fines of between 300 and 500 euros.
The law will be put to a vote in the Maltese parliament on Tuesday, with the country’s president set to promulgate it by the weekend, procedural minister Owen Bonnici told The Guardian.
Bonnici said the government did not want to encourage recreational drug use, but there was no evidence that cannabis use favored the further use of more dangerous substances. “We now understand that the harsh approach to cannabis users has been disproportionate, unfair and has caused a great deal of suffering to people who lead exemplary lives,” he said.