Here is something that I wanted to write about, but didn’t have the time due to regular government scandals. Leonid McKay who knows nothing of business and commerce is drafting and handling new regulations for cannabis growers. His regulations are banal, and only intended to harm the growers financially to the extent of making their operations unsustainable. Leonid McKay comes from the religious fold with a strong position against drugs so obviously, he’s going to make it as difficult as possible for cannabis growers. He’s not there to make them happy.
The problem on a policy level, of course, is that Leonid’s regulations will result in many small growers refusing to register with the entity he runs and the black market will remain unaffected. What did the government expect? First, they tried to fraudulently tell people they were decriminalising cannabis for the sake of progressive ideals (they didn’t), and then they placed the most anti-cannabis person on the island to head the cannabis authority. Hilarious.
The cannabis debate should have never been taken over by narratives on self-harm and whatnot because cannabis is not a hard drug. And the state should not be responsible for the stupid decisions of its own citizens who should have the freedom to do whatever they want with their own private lives. This debate should have been surpassed because after all these are the same principles applied to alcohol and drugs. Cannabis would also probably be less impactful on the national health service than tobacco and alcohol, and that’s also why tobacco smokers pay a lot of taxes on their tobacco purchases, as it should be.
Cannabis is a high-yield crop and the legislative debate should have been held on those lines: how to use cannabis production on an industrial and agricultural level to create a new economic sector and rake in revenues. It could be an excellent solution for Malta’s agriculture and also a partial solution to Malta’s insane overdevelopment drive as it would shift value back from urban construction to agriculture – something which is crucially needed to save Malta’s green fields and this is not going to happen by covering them up with solar panels (insanity).
There is a very wide gap between what Labour says and what it does and this legislative item was an excellent example of how Labour uses politics as part of its theatre and propaganda while failing to make any meaningful reforms. If you are going to decriminalsie cannabis you have to have a normal and regulated, free market, not a regulatory burden which will incentivise people to stay in the black market where the taxman doesn’t have any reach. Meanwhile, the government has no concern for the people on whom it inflicts collateral damage with its disastrous laws.