Following the dismissal of Malta’s first chair of the Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis Mariella Dimech, NGO Releaf released a statement expressing its concerns about the situation’s development.
Mariella Dimech announced that her services had been terminated by the home affairs ministry 10 months since her appointment despite being appointed for a 3 year term.
Dimech said that over the last 10 months she had to work without any functional office, no staff or budget and a political strategy she disagreed with.
The NGO raised concerns over the former Caritas drug rehab coordinator’s dismissal, saying that the human rights framework is being transformed into a commercial model by the industry.
Meanwhile, former Caritas director and executive head of the Housing Authority Leonid McKay has been appointed as the new executive chair of the cannabis authority.
The new appointment was however not approved by Releaf, with another statement pointing to his reportedly prohibitionist stances of ‘labelling’ cannabis users as ‘sick patients in need of rehabilitation.’
On his part, Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri defended McKay’s appointment, saying he is a worthy successor and that he would not have accepted the role had he not believed in the cause.