Malta’s first executive chair of the authority on cannabis says…. “Malta Will Not Become Amsterdam”

Read about Malta’s planned cautious and conservative approach in the interview

Here’s a sample of what executive chair  Mariella Dimech. says


………But the new law recognises the undeniable reality of cannabis consumption.

People smoke weed. Statistics show it’s the most used illicit substance besides alcohol. Now, our job as the authority is to recognise the risks and implement the necessary actions to help safe consumption. Just because I’m taking a harm reduction approach doesn’t mean I agree with substance abuse.


We also need to inform the public what the law says. Some people are imagining coffee shops cropping up everywhere selling weed and tourists coming over to the island to smoke drugs. They’re imagining Malta becoming another Amsterdam.

None of that is in the law. The law doesn’t allow a tourist to buy weed. It doesn’t allow coffee shops.



Well, people are worried because the new law allows you to smoke more weed, and that could be dangerous to some people.

You’re wrong. People who used to disregard the law were already smoking as much as they wanted to. I’m aware people are concerned that the law may increase consumption.

Only research can answer that question… research that we are going to conduct in line with the provision of licences.

What’s the difference in principle between cannabis and cocaine? Cannabis may lead some people to very dark places, just like cocaine can.

The principle is different because the effects of each drug are different and to understand them you need time to analyse the effects of each one. Just as with alcohol and tobacco.

I will never encourage people to smoke weed, just as I never encourage people to smoke cigarettes. But some people still do and, when they do, we will offer them a harm-reduction approach through information, education and by ensuring that legal cannabis is sold at a lower price than that of the black market.

Full interview at

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