Malta seeks to expand medical marijuana program

Malta’s government has proposed allowing all doctors in the country to prescribe medical marijuana.

The government published draft legislation Monday that would loosen an existing regulation with so many restrictions that not a single Maltese has been treated legally with marijuana or a cannabis-based product.

The new law would allow any general practitioner to prescribe medical marijuana; the current version allows only prescriptions from medical specialists.

The legislation requires approval from the Malta Parliament to become law. Passage is expected in the coming weeks.

In addition, Malta’s prime minister suggested last month that recreational use of marijuana might be legalized after the medical marijuana law is passed.

The proposal is the latest evidence of social change in Malta, a European Union member where divorce wasn’t legalized until 2011.

The tiny island nation lies in the Mediterranean Sea just south of Sicily, Italy.

– Associated Press