First country in Europe legalises marijuana for personal use 5 months ago

First country in Europe legalises marijuana for personal use

And it's not the Netherlands...

Malta is set to become the first country in Europe to legalise marijuana for personal use as part of an overhaul of the nation's drug laws and changing attitudes towards cannabis across the continent.

While many might have assumed that first in the door would be the Netherlands or that they had already legalised the drug given its popularity, the Dutch government actually still considers possession and trade as technically illegal: authorities simply operate on 'gedoogbeleid', ie a tolerance policy where use is largely accepted within bounds.

As for Malta, The Guardian reports that the Mediterranean island will beat Luxembourg to the post as the vote on Tuesday December 14 will see the law signed by the president and put into place by the weekend.

The legislation will allow for the possession of up to seven grams of cannabis for those aged 18 and above, with a grow of up to four cannabis plants at home and up to 50g of the dried product storable.

Owen Bonnici, the minister behind the bill, said, "There is a wave of understanding now that the hard-fist approach against cannabis users was disproportionate, unjust and it was rendering a lot of suffering to people who are leading exemplary lives.

"But the fact that they make use on a personal basis of cannabis is putting them in the jaws of criminality."

He went on to state, "I'm very glad that Malta will be the first country which will put words in statute in a comprehensive manner with a regulatory authority", adding that after a "huge discussion [...] we concluded that if a limit [can be put] on the strength of the cannabis, the THC levels, you will be creating a new market for the black market."

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He insisted that rather than cracking down, as such, people need to be educated on usage every day; as for the rest of Europe, many other nations look to be reforming in 2022.

Germany recently announced that it's looking to establish a legally regulated market, a move which came after similar announcements from the likes of Switzerland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg as alluded to earlier. A referendum is also being planned in Italy as people look to replicate the state-to-state legislature seen in Canada, Mexico the US.

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