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MALTATODAY 28 November 2021

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14 NEWS maltatoday | SUNDAY • 28 NOVEMBER 2021 NICOLE MEILAK MALTA'S bold step to legalise recreational amounts of can- nabis has its critics concerned over various social aspects sur- rounding the creation of can- nabis clubs, the not-for-profit associations that will dispense legally-grown cannabis. As one lecturer in criminol- ogy told MaltaToday, much of the success of the removal of restrictions on cannabis also depends on enforcing the legal supplies grown by the cannabis clubs, to stop it from entering the stream of illicit cannabis. Cannabis has consistently been the most used illicit sub- stance among the Maltese: the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs, or ESPAD, found that one-third of 15-16-year-olds in 2019 found it easily obtainable – in 1995, only 10% thought the same. The legalisation of buying, dispensation, and home cul- tivation of cannabis will make that access even easier, allow- ing users to get their supply from regulated clubs rather than their dealer. But there is opportunity in the new reform for those with a foot already in illicit territory. Demand for cannabis is high on the global market, and sup- pliers producing legal cannabis Safe and user-friendly... the dark web will become a new outlet for cannabis surplus growth in Malta Legal cannabis could see surpluses diverted to dark web

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