As Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party, we appeal to the Nationalist and Labour parties to do away with drug populism and to endorse AD's proposal for the decriminalisation of drugs for personal use. AD said that this policy was successful in countries like Portugal and that it results in more safety and less crime.
Existing drug laws in Malta are out of synch with social trends. Legislation on alcohol and other drugs should be reformed so that people who are victims of drugs can be helped. This requires decriminalisation of drugs for personal use. Education remains a key tool for policies on drugs. People should be conscious of their various effects and, if they seek help, they should receive it. But criminalising people for making use of drugs has been a failure not only in terms of social policy but, even more so, with respect to those whose criminalisation has resulted in a spiral of hardships.
Drug laws in Malta, where someone cultivating a couple of plants can get over a decade in prison need to be reformed radically. Anomalies in the law need to be corrected. For instance the cultivation of a plant in small quantities that clearly indicate only personal use should not be considered as the separate crime of cultivation which carries sentences to the equivalence of trafficking. If there's no intention to sell, it's personal use.
Malta also needs to start distinguishing between soft and hard drugs. Treating all drugs with the same brush is only an incentive for traffickers to import hard drugs, where the big money is.
Drug policy should be based on research rather than on populism. It is by now abundantly clear that extremely harsh sentences for drug use are not a deterrent. On the other hand, countries like Portugal who decriminalised the personal use of all drugs in 2001 did not see any significant rise in drug abuse.