The Labour leader was speaking during an interview on party radio station ONE Radio.
He said the law takes a harm reduction approach. “We could have closed our eyes, and said these realities do not exist.”
“We are government which wants to create opportunities, not supress them. With a tarnished police conduct your progress in life is halted, especially when you are faced with drug charges,” Abela said.
He said government wanted to strike a balance, and insisted the new legislation will not incentivise cannabis use among the community. “We want to give adolescents a second chance, we wanted to give people a second chance at reforming themselves.”
He also hit out at the opposition’s “inconsistency” when speaking on the subject.
“First they told us we didn’t consult publicly, then they told us we copied them, and then they went against their previous position and came out against it,” he said. “I would have understood changes on certain details, but to flip flop on such an important issue? I can’t understand that.”