Flawed drug law; woman appeals jail term

    REUTERS/Rick Wilking

    A woman is appealing her jail term after the Magistrate in Court commented about the fact that the law forcing her to imprison the accused is flawed. This is because that law states that if there is more than one plant, the accused must be imprisoned, ignoring the fact that the plant may sprout twice in the same pot.

    The woman’s lawyer, Joe Giglio, issued a statement explaining as to how the law has been drafted incorrectly.

    In Court on the 30th of October, Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras noted that The Drug Dependence (Treatment not Imprisonment) Act (Chapter 537) is flawed in so far as cultivation is concerned. The wording of the law states that there must only be “one plant” of cannabis being cultivated for personal use in order to avoid mandatory imprisonment.

    The Magistrate noted that this Act was meant to avoid situations where the Court was obliged to impose prison terms in a case where it did not feel like prison was warranted. However, this law forces the Court to impose an effective prison term if the plant sprouts out to more than one plant in the same pot.

    Ultimately, the lawyer outlined that his client owned one pot with 6.83 total grams of cannabis. According to him, the new law states that being in possession of not more than 3.5 grams means that you are not even taken to Court; yet, growing a plant instead of buying cannabis from a trafficker, and it having sprouted into two plants in the same pot, forces mandatory imprisonment.

    Giglio concluded his statement by saying that people should not go to prison because of badly-drafted laws that “defeat the very scope for which it was intended.” He also noted that this is the second time that they have encountered difficulties with this Act.