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MALTATODAY 19 June 2022

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13 NEWS maltatoday | SUNDAY • 19 JUNE 2022 be made af- fordable and accessi- ble, with the Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis acting as a regulator and an ed- ucational hub for growers and associations. Answering questions about urine testing for employees, Dr Steinmetz explained that such testing is unnecessary from an impairment and health and safety perspective. "In fact, non-psychoactive metabolites produce false positive results even if there is no impairment. The issue of false negative re- sults, whereby the person is impaired when the drug is yet to be metabolised, should be considered when adopting an evidence-based approach to safer working environments." Answering a question about the link between Cannabis and psychosis, Dr Steinmetz high- lighted that psychosis affects only around 1% of the popula- tion, irrespective of the levels of cannabis used by a particular society. "Nonetheless, people with a history of schizophrenia in the family or previous psy- chotic episodes have a higher potential to experience a psy- chotic episode or accelerate and worsen symptoms." A third workshop delivered by Dr Zampini and Karen Ma- mo focused on the people and dancefloors project, a quali- tative study delving into the role of pleasure, drug use, and dancefloors as spaces of en- counter. Reading quotes from the study, participants were invited to guess the quotes' context, eliciting reflections on personal experiences. The dis- cussion focused on the role of stereotypes and stigma linked with people who take drugs in music spaces. The interaction with par- ticipants provoked interest- ing observations, particularly around the tension between professional, family, and pleas- ure-seeking identities and behaviours. The lack of hon- est conversations about drug experiences for fear of legal, economic, and social reper- cussions, negatively impacts people's mental health and self-perception, while hinder- ing the reduction of harm. Originating in the UK as a documentary-based project and spreading to Brazil and Malta, the people and dance- floors project aims to explore differences and similarities across social and cultural envi- ronments. Given that drug use happens within a prohibition policy framework, Dr Zampi- ni highlighted the crucial role of a harm reduction approach to facilitate non-coercive dia- logue and positive behavioural change. Mamo clarified that harm re- duction practices range from providing drug checking to other basic services, including the provision of free water and condoms. "The validity of this approach, especially when con- sidering the high temperatures hitting our island, and the in- creased prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases. By pro- moting harm reduction, I hope Malta soon will take the leap towards a human rights-based approach for people who use drugs," Mamo said. The Harm Reduction Infor- mation Booth was sponsored by the University of Green- wich. Club seeking hostel and care home permits claims development will hide 'boatyard clutter' views JAMES DEBONO MARSAXLOKK'S football club has described a 188-bed hostel and 255-room old people's home as "a visual improvement" for its cur- rent site on disturbed land outside the build- ing zones. But photomontages show clear signs of ur- ban spawl for the project being billed as a public-private partnership for both the club and the locality. The club's project vaguely hints at the involvement of government entities for a project seeking the green light from Sports Malta under sports commercialisation rules. The project has been objected to by the Malta Developers Association, saying the applicants would enjoy an "unlevel playing field that puts private developments for such uses at an unfair disadvantage". The Marsaxlokk FC project will surround the existing football pitch, with a hostel on one side, and the care home on the other. Plans to develop a second football pitch on the adjacent public car-park built in 2018, have been ditched. But the hostel and care home will be on a public garden and dis- turbed land outside the development zone, including part of the parking area. The club has requested a permit to cordon off the "under-utilised parking area" with a boundary wall, specifically the part acquired by the club. The three-story care home will get an in- tegrated and enlarged public garden. The developers say Marsaxlokk's public gain will be a care home for the local elderly to keep living in the community, an enlarged pub- lic garden and "the creation of a landmark building with an elegant design." The existing garden hosts 84 trees and shrubs, including 17 Cypress trees and 12 pine trees, which under the club's plans will be transplanted to a larger area by an out- door public gym. The club claims the height of the care home will close off views of the fishing vil- lage's "boatyard clutter" on the coast right behind, without creating blank party walls, and staying lower than the 17.5m height maximum. The Environmental and Resources Au- thority is still screening the project to de- termine whether it requires an environment impact assessment. Marsaxlokk FC revises sports hostel plans The existing sports ground and parking area (top) with a photomontage of the proposed development (bottom)

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