Malta becomes first European country to legalize recreational cannabis
Malta became the first European country to allow the cultivation and consumption of cannabis for recreational use on Tuesday, Reuters reports.
Why it matters: The measure, which was approved with a 36-27 vote, is part of a global shift to decriminalizing cannabis.
Details: Adults will now be able to possess up to seven grams of cannabis and grow a maximum of four plants, per Reuters.
- Smoking it in public is still against the law.
- If someone is caught using the drug in front of a child, they could be fined up to 500 euros ($564).
What they're saying: Equality Minister Owen Bonnici has pushed back on accusations that the government is endorsing drug abuse.
- "We are creating a system that gives people access to cannabis without being in touch with criminality and ensuring they obtain a clean product," Bonnici told Malta Today in October.
The big picture: Malta is positioning itself ahead of a growing trend in Europe.
- In 2018, the Mediterranean country legalized the production of cannabis for research and medical use.
- Luxembourg is also set to legalize growing cannabis plants, while Germany's new government had pledged to legalize consumption in licensed stores, according to the Washington Post.