Today, President George Vella met with members of the Authority on the Responsible Use of Cannabis. Minister for Equality, Research and Innovation Owen Bonnici was also present at this meeting.
President Vella stressed the importance of professionalism for those working in this field and expressed his satisfaction that all members of the Authority have broad qualifications, knowledge and experience in the fields of medicine, psychology and other health-related professions. He urged the Authority to work in a diligent, autonomous and independent manner. He also spoke about the need for youths to find an environment that spurs them to engage in activities that will boost their physical and mental strength and that will in no way promote cannabis use. The President explained how in his view, the Authority should play an active role in speaking and maintaining an ongoing dialogue with those who have expressed serious concerns about the law concerned. President Vella stressed in particular the need for a broad education on the dangers of taking psychotropic substances.
Minister Owen Bonnici informed the President that in discussions with the members of the Authority, he stressed the importance of complying with the law, while maintaining its autonomy. He also explained that a number of meetings with foreign experts are currently underway and that these will continue to provide the Authority with a strong framework for implementing the law.
Mariella Dimech, Chairperson of the Authority, explained that she will be stressing that the management of the Associations, including licensing and research, will operate with absolute diligence. She also explained that she has already entered into dialogue with groups that have expressed concerns about this law and that she intends to continue these discussions. Ms Dimech agreed that education will be crucial and that she is convinced that the members of the Board are committed to working hand in hand for the wellbeing of society.
President Vella once again thanked all those present and reiterated the need for the Authority to adopt scientific methods and autonomy in its operations.