Towards a ‘human rights-based’ drug policy

Karen Mamo, a drug-policy researcher specialising in harm-reduction, argues that the ‘prohibitionist’ approach to drug legislation is not conducive to reducing the prevalence of drug use
Malta Today (Malta)
Wednesday, July 27, 2022

malta reform nowIn 2018, Malta became one of the first European countries to fully decriminalise cannabis for medicinal purposes; followed up by a broader reform to (within limits) decriminalise the drug for recreational purposes, too. For people brought up in a very different Malta – where drug-users were routinely criminalised – the contrast is rather striking. Yet it also forms part of what appears to be an international movement: away from ‘prohibitionism’, and towards a ‘harm-reduction’ approach. Decriminalisation itself is not even all that ‘new’, really:  if you look at individual countries, and how their drug legislation has evolved over the decades, you will find that the process has actually been ongoing for around 20 or 30 years.