After many periods of polarising debate on the role of marijuana in contemporary Maltese society, ELSA Malta’s Social and Legal Policy Committee, headed by its Director for Social Policy and Legal Publications, Jake Camilleri, has decided to publish its own take on this issue. The policy paper aims to introduce a comparative approach, by looking at numerous countries throughout the world, in order to analyse the benefits and shortcomings of different systems utilised in places where marijuana may be consumed without fear of prosecution. Such places include the Netherlands, California, Colorado and Portugal.
The team, made up of Liam Axisa, Brendan Hewer, Natalia Camilleri, Tim Vella, and Matteo Alessandro, looked to these states to establish the economic benefits, including sales revenue and employment, to inform the public and legislators in particular on the feasibility of such frameworks. These vary in nature, from the startling freedom in Colorado, where its availability in cannabis shops generates over one and a half billion dollars, to the Netherlands, where a coffee shop (the only place where it is legal there) generates seven million euros annually, to Portugal, where its universal decriminalisation allows for cuts in court expenditure. The proposals near the end seek to give hints on what could be done in Malta if marijuana had to be legalised.
Above all, the publication aims to educate and enlighten legislators to encourage a calculated decision, using a broader source of information than one would find locally. This comparative context is what makes ELSA’s paper a textbook example of its distinct ability to inform its audience and stand out in the academic sphere.
If you would like to read the full publication, you can find it HERE.