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Man claims arraignment for growing cannabis for personal use breached human rights

A campaigner for the legalisation of cannabis for personal use has filed a constitutional application today claiming a breach of human rights when he was arraigned for growing the plant, even though it was for his personal use.

The application was filed by David Caruana, 30, who in the past also held a demonstration in favour of allowing cannabis for personal use.

Mr Caruana was first arraigned in 2010 after he was found growing a plant on his balcony.

Through his lawyer, Jose' Herrera, Mr Caruana argued that Maltese law did not distinguish between cultivation for trafficking and cultivation for personal use.

Quoting Article 22 (1) (b) of Chapter 101, Mr Caruana said that the law stated that “for the purposes of this ordinance, the word ‘dealing’ includes cultivation”.

Dr Herrera also quoted from the United Nations Convention against illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances 1988, which does make a distinction.

Article 3(2) states that “subject to its Constitutional Principles and the basic concept of its legal system, each party shall adopt such measures as may be necessary to establish as a criminal offence under domestic law, the possession, purchase or cultivation of narcotic drugs for personal consumption”.

He said that once Malta ratified the convention it should become an integral part of the law.

Dr Herrera pointed out that the discrimination also concerned punishment since someone who had several plants was treated in the same manner as someone who had just one, and was liable for a 10-year jail term.

 

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