PRESS STATEMENT: IS THIS THE BEST WE CAN GIVE OUR YOUTH?
11th May 2021
Catholic Voices Malta with the endorsement of Azzjoni Katolika Maltija, Christian Life Community (Malta), Komunjoni tat-Tiġdid Kariżmatiku Kattoliku f’Malta, Moviment ta’ Kana, Society of Christian Doctrine (M.U.S.E.U.M.) – Sezzjoni Irgiel, The Mission Fund and ŻAK (Żgħażagħ Azzjoni Kattolika Maltija) submit a formal Position Paper in reaction to the White Paper issued by Government “Towards the Strengthening of the Legal Framework on the Responsible use of Cannabis”
The eight organisations express concern that the Government’s proposed legal changes do nothing about creating a stronger legal framework for what is being misleadingly termed as the “responsible use” of Cannabis.
While the Government White Paper expresses concern at the harmful effects of cannabis, it promotes its uncontrolled use by doubling the allowed possession and quadrupling the limits for own cultivation of the plant.
Most concerning is that Government, through this Paper, is encouraging the use of cannabis especially, to the younger generation that are most at risk when it comes to the long-term harmful effects this drug can have.
Undeniably cannabis for recreational use has none of the properties of medical cannabis, and its properties are in fact harmful, especially for the younger generation.
The Paper presents a very limited exposition on the longer term physical and mental health dangers especially for youths in their development.
The proposals only serve the purpose of commercialising the drug. Those who stand to benefit from the proposed reform are those who seek to make money out of people’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities, lacking to present a controlled framework to ensure “responsible” use.
The paper is based on the false assumption that all individuals can and will remain “responsible” users of the drug, denying scientific facts that frequent usage will expose users to addiction to the drug and is a pathway to the more dangerous drugs.
Cannabis may be less harmful than other drugs but cannot be placed in the same category and treated as alcohol and tobacco, which use should also be further discouraged.
4 plants of cannabis can produce over 8,000 grams of cannabis. How much daily dosage of grams can a ‘responsible user’ consume before becoming addicted with all its consequences? Further increases in limits of possession should only be considered after relevant studies have been commissioned and concluded.
The Paper does not address any of the negative effects and social consequences that consumption can bring about such as: school dropouts, low employability skills and lack of professional attainment. It is such a pity that all this is conveniently ignored after all the investment out nation makes in educating our youths. What a waste!
Our Youth deserve Inspiration not Addiction
We believe that the State should step up its efforts in inspiring our youth to improve their health and wellbeing including:
Proposals for a healthy lifestyle, not the promotion of substance abuse that damages their health.
Investment in sports infrastructure, spaces for culture and the arts and safe entertainment.
In times of sacrifice to encourage the protection of each other’s health, rather than promote ways of ruining one’s health.
No family is immune from having a loved one fall prey to a drug pusher. We want a Government that fights traffickers and not one that legitimises their iniquitous intentions.
Our country directs a lot of funds and efforts into education and to promote the abilities of our youth. Why do we want to lose all this in the commercial interest of the few who seek to make money over the wellbeing of our children and the common good?
Our Youth Deserve Much Better!