A newly set-up board will decide within three months what conditions would be imposed on repeat offenders found in simple possession of drugs, a White Paper issued today says.

The consultation document, launched by Justice Minister Owen Bonnici, will see users found in simple possession for the first time stand before a justice commissioner who will give warnings and administrative fines.

Repeat offenders will then stand before a social board which will set conditions for rehabilitation. Breaking such a condition would be a criminal offence.

The Sunday Times of Malta revealed details of the mechanics of the proposed reform yesterday, with Dr Bonnici today confirming the government’s stand.
Asked if all the members of the Cabinet had supported the document, Dr Bonnici said the entire government was behind the proposals.

“The document was originally shorter, but we had so many proposals put forward, that we kept amending it and making it bigger. The government is really committed to this,” he said, adding that he personally hoped to see the judiciary unshackled by the reform.

Asked if the reform would have retroactive application, Dr Bonnici said it would only affect those still awaiting sentencing.

On rehabilitation, the minister said checks and balances would have to be introduced to be sure that users followed the conditions set forward for repeat offenders.

The White Paper also proposes that medical consultants will be allowed to prescribe  medical marijuana to patients but patients may not cultivate their own plant.

See the White Paper in full on pdf below.

See more at http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20140706/local/Cannabis-smokers-won-t-be-criminals.526464

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