ReLeaf Malta was founded in 2017 by a group of Maltese citizens calling on the Government to change the draconian laws criminalising people who use cannabis and push forward additional legislative changes to the initial changes enacted in 2015 (depenalised 3.5grms for cannabis, above that limit could land you in jail).
The goals of ReLeaf are included also with the name: legalise, educate and regulate
The year 2019 was particularly special because ReLeaf Malta published the first Maltese proposal for a Regulated and Legalised cannabis market. For the first time, Maltese citizens were provided with an idea how a regulated market would look like. We focused our proposal on 8 key points, all revolving around three cardinal principles:
- The right to health, privacy and accessibility for people who use cannabis
- The importance to ensure social equity and expungement of criminal records
- Sustainability and protection of local resources
In April 2020, Releaf released a 4/20 Resolution, calling on the Government to allow Maltese adult citizens to grow a limited number of plants in the privacy of their homes.
In May, Releaf released a second 4/20 Resolution, calling on the Government to release from prison and expunge criminal records for people caught (even prior 2015), consuming, sharing or cultivating the cannabis plant for personal use and therefore ensuring a clean criminal record.
The human rights of people who use cannabis have been constantly breeched, and unfortunately, although the law enacted in 2015 by Chapter 537 Drug Dependence (Treatment not Imprisonment) was instrumental to reduce the number of people prosecuted for minor and personal cannabis consumption, the law continues to negatively impinge on a number of basic human rights, including the right to health and the right to privacy.
The current law depenalised the possession of cannabis flowers, for up to 3.5grams. Therefore, any person caught with less than 3.5grams will be arrested, interrogated by the police, released and then receives a fine.
In the case of cannabis plants, the law continues to criminalise all cultivation, however recent legal amendments placed the onus on the presiding Judge to decide if the case in question merits to be considered as personal use or cultivation intended for trafficking. The current policy continues to direct people who use cannabis towards the criminal justice system and negatively impinges on their economic, psychological and social well-being.
Together with the collaboration of a number of established international NGO’s and leading experts in the field of cannabis and drug policy, such as DrugScience (UK), Transform (UK), Transnational Institute (NL), ENCOD (AT), DrugsnMe (UK) and the recently founded European Cannabis Advocacy Network (ECAN), ReLeaf Malta is committed to continue to push forward human rights and promote the importance of evidence-based research and policy outcomes.