Agencies which work with drug victims do not agree that recreational cannabis should be legalised
Agencies which work with drug victims, such as Sedqa and Caritas are of the belief that the use of recreational cannabis should not be further promoted because it creates a culture in favour of drug abuse. This belief was expressed during the programme Dissett which on the International Day against Drug Abuse and Drug Trafficking, discussed the local scene in the fight against drug absue with experts.
The Chief Executive of the Foundation for Social Welfare Services Alfred Grixti said that the Foundation does not agree with the idea of legalising recreational cannabis.
“We do not agree with recreational use. We have already said this to those concerned. We cannot agree with it because it goes against the spirit of why our Foundation was set up, ” Mr Grixti said.
However the programme showed that there is support for the use of the drug to become decriminalised.
Mr Grixti and Caritas Director Anthony Gatt said that there had been positive results as a result of the amendments to the law on the possession of a small quantity of drugs for personal use.
The clinical Chairman for the mental health services, psychiatrist Dr Anton Grech, while pointing out that the the drug problem is growing, noted that in Malta there are among the best services in Europe for those who want to stop abusing.
Dr Grech said that the amendments to the law on synthetic drugs is a step in the right direction, however he expressed his concern about these new drugs on the market. “We sometimes had people whose kidneys failed. I had young clients who suffered a severe stroke because of synthetic drugs. The mental repercussions are terrible because you lose control of your body.”
The Caritas Director praised the discipline which has been introduced in prison and said that this has led to the use of drugs there being reduced. “I think what is happening in prison can serve as an example to our society. Discipline has to be instilled with love and with the intent of helping you out, not for me to dominate you. The prison authorities are using this approach because they do not want to see the same people back in prison.”
During the programme, two drug abuse victims also spoke about how they fell into this vicious habit and how today they are clean thanks to the San Blas rehab programme managed by Caritas.
Greatly regrets having let his children down – man who overcame his drugs abuse