AD - Drug Victims and Users should not be criminalised
Malta should stop making criminals of persons who make use of drugs for personal use and should follow the successful model of countries like Portugal which decriminalized drugs for personal use, AD Chairperson Michael Briguglio held.
The AD Chairman explained that education remains a key tool for policies on drugs. “People should be conscious of their various effects and, if they seek help, they should receive it but criminalising people for making use of drugs has been a failure not only in terms of policy but, even more so, with respect to those whose criminalisation has resulted in a spiral of hardships,” he said.
The AD believes that the victims of drug addiction and dependency are to be considered as persons in need of help and not as criminals whilst at the same time, decriminalisation also ensures that recreational drug users, including those who cultivate soft drugs for personal use, are not criminalised for their lifestyle. Countries are realising this and re-thinking their legislation. In Portugal hard drug addicts decreased by 50% in ten years, and deaths and HIV also decreased following a successful health campaign.
“Drugs should be classified according to their effect. Nurturing a plant for your own use is not being treated as for your personal use, but it is considered a separate crime, of cultivation, that carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence, the equivalent of trafficking, even if the user has absolutely no intention to sell," AD spokesperson for Citizenship Robert Callus concluded.