Malta’s Labour Party Wins Third Term After Legalising Weed

Sunday saw a landslide election victory for Labour in Malta, delivering the party a third term victory against the odds. The win came despite the forced resignation of the disgraced former PM, Joseph Muscat, in January 2020. Muscat’s fall from grace took place during the investigation that followed the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Despite these major scandals, Partit Laburista were victorious; helped on their way to victory by legalising cannabis for personal use last year. 

They were advised by a British political consultant who had been playing a key behind-the-scenes role in the campaign advising ministers on how to move on from Muscat and clean up their image at home and abroad. David Taylor, who cut his teeth as a young New Labour staffer and SpAd in the Blair-Brown years, has a reputation for deploying a robust approach to campaigns. It’s a style which clearly found favour in Malta, the small island nation known for its deep-rooted partisan tribalism, where Prime Minister Robert Abela increased both Labour’s share of the vote and its majority over the opposition Nationalist Party.

Ironically, five years ago when David Taylor stood for North Wales Police Commissioner on a “zero tolerance platform” promising to be tough on crime, Taylor said he would “wage war on drugs and trafficking by Manchester and Merseyside gangs”. He even promised a Rudy Giuliani-style war on anti-social riffraff who threaten to ruin so many lives”. He lost.

Now the government he advises, which legalised cannabis in December, has just won an election on the back of going in the opposite direction and liberalising. Legalising drugs can be electorally popular – who knew?

mdi-timer 29 March 2022 @ 12:05 29 Mar 2022 @ 12:05 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Happy Marijuana Day! Swiss Legalising Cannabis

Today (April 20) is Marijuana Day, and next month Switzerland will pilot Europe’s first fully-legal regulated cannabis market for adult use. In Switzerland as in Britain, prohibition has failed to address a thriving criminal market, so public health officials now see regulation as part of the answer to get drugs under control. The decade-long experiment aims “to increase knowledge on the advantages and disadvantages of controlled access to cannabis, and to provide a solid scientific basis for any future decision-making on cannabis regulation”. Sensible and rational, unlike the sometimes hysterical debate in Britain.

The Swiss parliament passed an amendment to the Federal Act on Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances (NarcA). With its new article 8a NarcA, the revised act provides a legal basis for conducting scientific pilot trials with cannabis that are limited in terms of both time and place. The trials will provide a scientific basis for the future regulation of cannabis. The amended Act enters into force on 15 May 2021 and will remain in effect for ten years. This will not be the last “temporary” trial in Europe.
In Britain there is overwhelming popular support for the legalisation of cannabis, yet because recreational drugs are illegal, our cities are being ravaged by criminal turf wars over drug distribution. Taking the products out of the hands of criminals and into regulated markets would not only end the bloodshed, it would end the unnecessary criminalisation of thousands of young people. Drug addiction would be treated as a medical, not judicial problem. The war on drugs has failed and will always fail because humans like to alter their mental state. Voters should be allowed to enjoy drugs safely…
mdi-timer 20 April 2021 @ 16:20 20 Apr 2021 @ 16:20 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Unlike Boris, Majority of Brits Back Legalising Cannabis

Despite Boris’s insistence this week that he has “absolutely no intention of legalising cannabis“, a new poll from YouGov shows that 52% of Brits nonetheless support the idea across the UK, with just 32% either leaning against legalisation or entirely opposed to it. It seems Boris Johnson has joined Sir Keir in misreading the ‘British instinct’…

Guido’s view on this is quite simple. Legalising cannabis would undercut criminal enterprises, raise tax revenues, and ultimately reduce the health risks to the individual. It might reduce the number of turf war stabbings plaguing our cities as well. There’s no need for Sadiq’s ‘review’ into decriminalisation; the benefits are already clear to see from neighbouring countries. It’s high time for a change to the UK’s drug laws…

mdi-timer 7 April 2021 @ 16:28 7 Apr 2021 @ 16:28 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Luxembourg Legalising Cannabis

Little Luxembourg has long been best known as the poster-child for everything wrong with the EU, the home of the European Court of Justice and a controversial tax haven that churns out disproportionate numbers of corrupt and incompetent European Commission Presidents. Now Luxembourg is set to blaze a trail of a different kind…

Luxembourg’s health minister Etienne Schneider is leading new proposals to fully legalise cannabis after concluding that “the drug policy we had over the last 50 years did not work” and “forbidding everything made it just more interesting to young people”. It will become the first European country to give the green light to cannabis to such an extent, although hopes are high that the Boris Government may also be open to a switch after hiring two high-profile advocates of legalisation himself. Downing Street has tried to stub out speculation but it has not been entirely blunted…

One German lawyer said about Luxembourg’s move: “The social pressure will be so high that if you have legalization in one of the EU member states, soon that will be discussed seriously in the other ones.” Precisely…

mdi-timer 9 August 2019 @ 15:27 9 Aug 2019 @ 15:27 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Teen Cannabis Use Falls When It’s Legal

A new study from the US has found that teen cannabis use dropped by an average of 10% in states where recreational use of the drug is legalised, compared to those where it remains prohibited. Legalisation literally decimated teen use of the drug…

The study found that it became harder for teens to get their hands on the substance when it was sold from licensed dispensaries, where ID is required by law, as illegal dealers were largely put out of business. The Adam Smith Institute today called for cannabis to be sold in pharmacies to help cut crime, they tell Guido:

“Cannabis legalisation would not only wreck the criminal gangs that are fuelling knife crime and exploring young children – it was also provide the opportunity to limit underage drug use. Drug dealers don’t ask for ID. It’s good to see yet more evidence that legal cannabis markets cut down the number of kids buying weed.

Every second the Government refuses to change its failed approach, more kids are getting hold of high strength skunk and being exploited by criminals. It’s time to give the green light to legal cannabis.”

To cut teen drug use, legalise it.

mdi-timer 9 July 2019 @ 16:06 9 Jul 2019 @ 16:06 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
61% of Brits Support Legalising Cannabis

Polling for think tank Volteface in conjunction with the Evening Standard has found that 61% of Brits with a view support legalising, taxing, and regulating the cannabis market. Supermajorities of the British public think that “taking an estimated £2.5 billion a year out of the hands of criminals”, “creating tax revenues of £1 billion”, and  “allow[ing] authorities to strictly regulate and label the strength of cannabis sold and limit the potency” are compelling reasons to move to legalisation.

Including those with no view, the poll found that 47% of respondents support the legalisation of cannabis, 30% oppose legalisation, and 23% neither support or oppose or are undecided. The most compelling argument against legalisation concern that “concern that legalisation would increase the numbers of people driving whilst under the influence.” After almost every Tory leadership contender admitted to having ingested cannabis and harder substances, it’s probably time to have a rethink about the UK’s drug laws…

mdi-timer 1 July 2019 @ 12:50 1 Jul 2019 @ 12:50 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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