Position Paper regarding the White Paper ‘Towards the Strengthening of the Legal Framework on the Responsible Use of Cannabis’

In the light of the recently published White Paper regarding the responsible use of cannabis, the Malta Catholic Youth Network, an entity of the Archdiocese of Malta, has put together the following observations and recommendations, which it is hereby presenting for further consideration.

Throughout the years, MCYN has consistently supported recreational activities which aid the young person’s development and community building, especially the work done through various youth groups, centres, associations and voluntary organisations. However, MCYN is against the use of any psychoactive and/or harmful substance, whether it be legal or not.

Our main concern is that this White Paper may lead to the normalisation and popularisation of cannabis use amongst adolescents and young people, who may be misled into believing that cannabis use has no harmful effects.

1. The difference between recreational and medicinal cannabis

a. In the current White Paper, although initially the distinction is made between Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD), it does not make a clear distinction between the benefits and harmful effects of either in the rest of the White Paper, speaking of them as though their harmful and beneficial effects seem to be equal.

b. In order to have a fruitful national debate on the responsible use of cannabis, the two different modes of cannabis use – responsible use and medicinal use – should be left completely separate, and thus be discussed in two different White Papers.

c. Moreover, the current White Paper should only discuss the responsible use of cannabis, and should include scientific references to the levels of THC and CBD.

In the case of responsible use of cannabis:

2. Decriminalisation

a. We agree with the decriminalisation of cannabis for personal use by adults in such a way that those with substance dependence are not given a prison sentence but the opportunity to seek help from possible addiction.

b. We agree with the proposition that minors in possession of cannabis for personal use should not be subject to proceedings before the Courts of Criminal Jurisdiction, but to administrative proceedings before the Commissioner for Justice and the Drug Offenders Rehabilitation Board.

3. Educational Campaigns

a. The starting point of such an educational campaign should be the preventative measures that should be taken to stay away from substances such as cannabis.

b. The risks and benefits should not be presented on equal ground, as the risks of this psychoactive substance heavily outweigh the benefits. A clear distinction between recreational and medicinal cannabis should be made when discussing its uses and effects.

c. The campaign should first aim at promoting other forms of recreational activity (such as sport and art) in order to reduce the use of psychoactive and/or harmful substances.

d. Funding for facilities and policies to promote alternative forms of recreational activity (such as sport and art) should also be prioritised.

4. The safeguarding of minors and the vulnerable

a. As studies have shown, the use of cannabis by young people below the age of 21-25 heavily increases the risks of cannabis’ harmful effects. We propose that the legislation makes provisions that not only safeguard minors and impede the use of cannabis among minors, but also protect and support adults with a higher risk of harm (such as those between the ages of 18 and 25 and other vulnerable people).

Conclusion

In conclusion, mindful of lobbying groups trying to legalise the use of cannabis, MCYN believes that the repercussions of this lobbying will be felt by the most vulnerable in society and those who are least informed.


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'We do not pretend that life is all beauty. We are aware of darkness and sin, of poverty and pain. But we know Jesus has conquered sin and passed through his own pain to the glory of the Resurrection. And we live in the light of his Paschal Mystery - the mystery of his Death and Resurrection. “We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!”' Pope St John Paul II

Wishing you all a joyful Easter!
'We do not pretend that life is all beauty. We are aware of darkness and sin, of poverty and pain. But we know Jesus has conquered sin and passed through his own pain to the glory of the Resurrection. And we live in the light of his Paschal Mystery - the mystery of his Death and Resurrection. “We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!”' Pope St John Paul II Wishing you all a joyful Easter!
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⚠️ Last few spots available to welcome Pope Francis on Saturday 2nd April! 
Young people, apply here 👉 popefrancis.mt/youths
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See you on Saturday 2nd April in Valletta!
✍️ Registration at the moment can be done through your local youth organisation.
See you on Saturday 2nd April in Valletta! ✍️ Registration at the moment can be done through your local youth organisation.
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Swipe for a little look into the meeting 👀
Earlier this month, the Adolescent Forum for 2022 met with Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna for the first time! 

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Swipe for a little look into the meeting 👀
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Swipe for a little look into the meeting 👀
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Swipe for a little look into the meeting 👀
Earlier this month, the Adolescent Forum for 2022 met with Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna for the first time! 

💭 Young people, from 6 different youth groups, shared with the Archbishop their concerns about Women in the Church & the LGBTIQ community. 

Swipe for a little look into the meeting 👀
Earlier this month, the Adolescent Forum for 2022 met with Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna for the first time! 

💭 Young people, from 6 different youth groups, shared with the Archbishop their concerns about Women in the Church & the LGBTIQ community. 

Swipe for a little look into the meeting 👀
Earlier this month, the Adolescent Forum for 2022 met with Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna for the first time! 

💭 Young people, from 6 different youth groups, shared with the Archbishop their concerns about Women in the Church & the LGBTIQ community. 

Swipe for a little look into the meeting 👀
Earlier this month, the Adolescent Forum for 2022 met with Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna for the first time! 💭 Young people, from 6 different youth groups, shared with the Archbishop their concerns about Women in the Church & the LGBTIQ community. Swipe for a little look into the meeting 👀
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Archbishop Charles J Scicluna will be leading this Lectio Divina.

We will also have time for fellowship together.
Priests will be available for the sacrament of confession throughout the evening.

mcyn.org/kelma-kellimni/
Archbishop Charles J Scicluna will be leading this Lectio Divina.

We will also have time for fellowship together.
Priests will be available for the sacrament of confession throughout the evening.

mcyn.org/kelma-kellimni/
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🇲🇹 Il‑Papa Franġisku jilqa’ l‑istedina tal‑President tar‑Repubblika ta’ Malta, tal‑awtoritajiet ċivili u tal‑Knisja Kattolika tal‑pajjiż, u ser jagħmel Vjaġġ Appostoliku f’Malta u Għawdex fit‑2 u 3 ta’ April 2022. Il‑Papa se jżur il‑Belt Valletta, ir‑Rabat, il‑Furjana u Ħal Far, u l‑gżira ta’ Għawdex. Aktar dettalji jitħabbru aktar ’il quddiem.

🇬🇧 Accepting the invitation of the President of the Republic of Malta, the civil authorities and the Catholic Church of the country, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic Journey to Malta from 2 to 3 April 2022. The Pope will visit Valletta, Rabat, Floriana and Ħal Far, and the island of Gozo. Further details will be published at a later stage
🇲🇹 Il‑Papa Franġisku jilqa’ l‑istedina tal‑President tar‑Repubblika ta’ Malta, tal‑awtoritajiet ċivili u tal‑Knisja Kattolika tal‑pajjiż, u ser jagħmel Vjaġġ Appostoliku f’Malta u Għawdex fit‑2 u 3 ta’ April 2022. Il‑Papa se jżur il‑Belt Valletta, ir‑Rabat, il‑Furjana u Ħal Far, u l‑gżira ta’ Għawdex. Aktar dettalji jitħabbru aktar ’il quddiem. 🇬🇧 Accepting the invitation of the President of the Republic of Malta, the civil authorities and the Catholic Church of the country, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic Journey to Malta from 2 to 3 April 2022. The Pope will visit Valletta, Rabat, Floriana and Ħal Far, and the island of Gozo. Further details will be published at a later stage
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If you are interested or would like to receive more information, get in touch with us on youths@maltadiocese.org ✈️
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Image: Gracia Lame best! Happy New Year, from Malta Catholic Youth Network.

Image : Gracia Lam
“This year, while we hope for new beginnings and new cures, let us not neglect care. Together with a vaccine for our bodies, we need a vaccine for our hearts. That vaccine is care. This will be a good year if we take care of others, as Our Lady does with us.” - Pope Francis, January 1, 2021 Image: Gracia Lame best! Happy New Year, from Malta Catholic Youth Network. Image : Gracia Lam
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May the celebration of Christ's coming bring to each of our hearts a new hope. 
 🌟 Merry Christmas!
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