What Should You Do If Police Catch You With Weed In Malta (2024)

It’s been over half a decade since Malta decriminalised using cannabis, yet people are still being arrested for smoking a joint.

Since Malta’s judicial system doesn’t seem to have Malta’s 40,000 cannabis users’ best interests at heart – and politicians seem more focused on paying lip service than offering real solutions – Lovin Malta has created an A to Z guide of everything you need to know if you plan on handling weed, in some form or another, in Malta.

Got plans to smoke with your BFFs at the beach? Hitting 4.20 at home? Or even having a wake n’ bake with your partner in a St Julian’s hotel room?

Then you absolutely need to read this.

What Should You Do If Police Catch You With Weed In Malta (1)

1. Let’s start with the bud basics.

On 15th April 2015 – just five days before 4/20 – the government rolled out The Drug Dependence (Treatment Not Imprisonment) Act, a progressive law meant to take Malta forward as several countries and US states began legalising the sticky icky for personal use.

While the legislation, which is found in Chapter 537 of the Laws of Malta, featured some good points – such as no longer making it illegal and punishable within a court to carry up to 3.5 grams of cannabis – it came with a laundry list of caveats giving authorities powers to still get you in trouble… and that’s a problem.

You can read the full law here.

One of the biggest changes that came with the amendment was that anyone caught with less than 3.5g of weed would be hauled in front of the Local Council Tribunals – the one you go to when you receive parking contraventions.

It is only if you are caught a second time that the tribunal will refer you to a newly-created Drug Offenders Rehabilitation Board.

The board’s approach to your case, however, will probably not be too progressive, with the overarching frame of thought remaining that drugs are bad, mmkay.

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2. What powers do the drugs board have?

Unfortunately, they can introduce several humiliating scenarios into your life.

If the board deems it fit, they can order you to submit blood and urine samples at their will; they can also appoint outside experts to assess your mental health or ensure you “aren’t addicted”.

They can also call in people from JobsPlus or the Housing Authority while assessing you, and propose a plan for providing psychological support for your family.

The board even has the power to restrict your movement if they deem it best for your “treatment”.

If you are lucky, you will be asked to pay a fine of €50 to €100 and sent on your merry way, without the fine being listed on your criminal record.

What Should You Do If Police Catch You With Weed In Malta (3)

3. What should I do if police catch me with weed?

So, you are chilling at the beach with two friends smoking a joint, and all of a sudden police appear, saying they smell something in the air and are looking right at you.

The first few moments of your interaction with the police will determine the rest of your court case.

“When people call me to say they’ve been stopped by the police, the point I make is: don’t go into sharing or getting it for your friends because this can lead to serious repercussions and could be tantamount to the more serious charge of trafficking,” leading Maltese criminal lawyer Joe Giglio told Lovin Malta.

Saying things like “we are just sharing a joint” or giving information on where you bought your supply from will open you up to potential drug trafficking charges.

Be cautious, and avoid saying anything beyond the fact that you sometimes smoke at home, alone, with your own supply.

However, even better than saying anything is consulting with your lawyer first.

“Don’t rush – it pays to consult,” Giglio says. “By consulting, the person getting arrested can get a clearer perspective of what is going to happen to them over the next couple of hours.” He pointed out how often people forego consulting their lawyers during this critical moment, and oftentimes make “stupid mistakes” while being interrogated.

“You are going to be asked where you got the cannabis from, if you’ve ever shared it with anyone… and as soon as you’ve said you shared a joint once at a party, suddenly it’s trafficking and you’ve complicated matters.”

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4. How does a typical police search go down, and how should I react?

Once police approach you, they might ask to search you, and then you could be taken to the police headquarters for further questioning; police have the power to hold you for up to 48 hours without charge if they have any further suspicions.

In these cases, the less you say, the better – though this might be hard as police will be pressing you for comments. And you definitely want your lawyer by your side while being questioned.

“If you are stopped by a police while in possession of cannabis, strictly speaking you have the right to consult a lawyer before speaking to the police,” Giglio said. “Oftentimes, police will search a person and find a small piece on them and will then inform the individual of their right to consult their lawyer for an hour before questioning.”

However, Giglio recounted how oftentimes, people panic about their family finding out they were found with cannabis, and make bad decisions.

“Sometimes, people who were arrested won’t want their parents to find out, so they just tell the police: ‘I’ll tell you whatever, I just want to go home before my parents find out… and do me a favour, send the court summons directly to me’.”

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Image courtesy of Outlook – Releaf Medical Cannabis

5. What can make my situation worse?

Many things.

Mentioning sharing or where you bought the cannabis from are definite no-nos.

But more than that, your surroundings can be used against you. Under the 2015 provision, if you are within 100m of a place youths frequent – basically, anywhere from clubs to schools to parks – prosecutors can (and probably will) use this against you.

The problem is, with Malta being so small, there’s always a good chance you are within 100m from a location which youth frequent. Even worse is the fact that practically any place – including, say, hotels – can arguably be presented as a place youths frequent.

Even more complicated is that its often up to the inspector charging you to decide whether they want to include the exact location you were caught at, leaving it in their discretion to pin you with being within 100m of a banned location.

“If an offence is committed within these circumstances, then not only is the 2015 law now applicable, but the punishment is actually increased,” Giglio said. “In Malta, it’s almost impossible not to be within 100m of a school, club of whatever sorts, place which youths usually frequent, or some social club of some sort, therefore creating regular situations were Chapter 537 will not be applicable.”

“Also, experience teaches us that usually youths consume drugs in places which they themselves actually frequent, thereby rendering the inapplicability of Chapter 537 even more probable.”

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6. Can I grow my own plant in Malta?

Technically yes – if you stick to one singular plant, that is.

“Growing is a whole other situation,” Giglio continued. “The law says if you grow one plant, there is a possibility for you to gain the benefit of Chapter 537. However, the law may not apply if you have more than one plant or seedling.”

Oftentimes, when people want to grow cannabis, multiple seeds will be planted so that more than one seedling sprouts for a better chance of survival of a good plant – however, this immediately means that the law has been broken.

“However, with an amendment that came into effect in early 2020, if a court is satisfied that the plants are for personal use, Chapter 537 can be applied,” Giglio said.

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In Summary:

Don’t panic, don’t give out any details and call a lawyer.

And definitely do not talk about sharing weed, buying weed or even anything beyond what was said above.

Prime Minister Robert Abela has officially pledged to present a draft law regulating Malta’s cannabis industry. This is great news, and there’s finally serious hope that Malta’s cannabis users will soon be able to smoke a joint in their homes without fears of the police bashing down their doors.

There’s even proper hope that people will be able to grow a small amount of plants privately.

However, no real timeframe has been given yet – so until the bill becomes law, use the above information well.

Share this story with people who really need to read it

READ NEXT: Maltese Are Least Likely To Report Witnessed Domestic Violence If The Perpetrator Was A Woman And Not A Man

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Johnathan is Editor-in-Chief of Lovin Malta, and an award-winning Maltese journalist interested in social justice, politics, minority issues, music and food. Follow him at @supreofficialmt on Instagram, and send him news, food and music stories at [emailprotected]

What Should You Do If Police Catch You With Weed In Malta (2024)


How much weed can you have in Malta? ›

This caused an uproar from cannabis enthusiasts in Malta. If you are caught with more than 7 grams of cannabis in public you will be liable to pay a fine of €50 to €100 fine. Underage offenders are however enrolled in a “care plan” set by the government and that's geared towards preventing drug abuse by the youth.

What are the new weed laws in Malta? ›

Malta legalised cannabis for adult use in December 2021.

Are there weed shops in Malta? ›

To buy cannabis in Malta you must be a Maltese resident. There is as of yet no way of buying legal cannabis in Malta.

Are drugs legal in Malta? ›

Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines. Contact the European Consumer Centre Malta for advice about disputes with traders.

Can I smoke in Malta? ›

However, many establishments offer an outside seating option for smokers, with some of these being equipped with heaters for the cooler months. Smoking is also prohibited in the common areas in hotels. Some hotels may have a smokers' lounge but this is not obligatory and is at the discretion of the hotel's management.

Is Malta the first European country to legalize weed? ›

Valletta, Malta. Malta, a tiny nation in the Mediterranean Sea, has just become the first European nation to fully legalize marijuana.

Is it safe to live in Malta? ›

Safety and security.

Aside from that, Malta is considered to be the safest country in Europe and the second-safest in the world when it comes to the safety of women.

How safe is Malta for tourists? ›


Generally, Malta is very safe to visit. It is among the safest countries in the EU to travel to, but it has its dangers. Use your common sense and keep your valuables closely by your side, since the most common type of crime is petty theft.

Is weed is legal in Mauritius? ›

The Amended DDA provides that no person shall use and/or import medical cannabis unless he has been authorised to do so by the Ministry of Health and Wellness (the "Ministry").

How many weed holidays are there? ›

Though less well-known, there are five other cannabis holidays besides 4/20 that are celebrated around the country. And the best part? Cannabis businesses will often offer product discounts on these days.

Where is Malta island? ›

The island-state of Malta is located in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily (Italy); it consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino, of which Malta is the largest island. In its history, the Maltese archipelago was always strategically significant for the domination of the Mediterranean.

Is it illegal to smoke and drive in Malta? ›

It is also against the law to smoke when you are driving a motor vehicle, so if you really have to light up, be sure to wait until you have reached your destination.

Can I take CBD to Malta? ›

Can I Take CBD Oil to Malta? There is still some confusion regarding the legality of CBD oil in Malta despite significant changes in the legal structure. Theoretically, it is legal to take CBD to Malta if the product is of EU origin or was legally purchased in another EU nation.

What language is Maltese? ›

Maltese, a language of Semitic origin written in the Latin script, is the national language of Malta. Over the centuries, it has incorporated many words derived from English, Italian and French. Italian is also widely spoken. The Maltese language is a source of fascination to both visitors and linguists.

Can I take my vape to Malta? ›

Yes, one e-cigarette per person may be taken on board as a personal belonging. Kindly note that at present, IQOS/ Heat-not-burn products are prohibited in Malta under a general ban on smokeless tobacco products. Was this article helpful?

Is vape allowed in Malta? ›

Malta transposed the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) into domestic law in 2016. Nicotine-free disposable devices are regulated as tobacco products, whereas nicotine-free e-liquids are treated as consumer products.

Do I tip in Malta? ›

Tipping is customary in Malta and a gratuity of between 5% and 10%, whenever good service has been provided is reasonable. However if a service charge has already been included in the bill, a tip is not necessary.

What city in Europe is weed legal? ›

Barcelona, Spain

In short, Barcelona is exactly like Amsterdam where you can take a hit, except with more scenic views. Plenty of coffee shops and legal cannabis clubs are found all across Barcelona, similar to Amsterdam.

What is the best area to stay in Malta? ›

9 Best Areas to Stay in Malta For Tourists
  • Sliema.
  • Three Cities.
  • St Julian's.
  • Mdina & Rabat.
  • St Paul's Bay.
  • Gozo.
  • Marsaxlokk.
  • Marsaskala.
Dec 13, 2022

Which country first banned weed? ›

1928: The United Kingdom first prohibited cannabis as a drug, in accordance with the 1925 Opium Convention, adding cannabis as an addendum to the Dangerous Drugs Act 1920.

What should I be careful about in Malta? ›

Crime against tourists is rare although robberies, handbag snatching, pick-pocketing and theft from parked cars can occur. Safeguard passports, money and other valuables. Be vigilant when exchanging money and using ATMs, and avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Use the hotel's own safe if possible.

Is it safe to walk at night in Malta? ›

Walking outside at night is perfectly safe in most parts of the country, definitely in the more touristy areas. There are a few exceptions, however.

What is the downside of Malta? ›

Cons: Malta is small and densely populated, so if you like a lot of space and natural diversity, it may not be your cup of tea. And you'll need to be prepared for the annual influx of summer tourists if you decide to live in a popular, historic area.

What food is Malta known for? ›

Traditional Maltese food is rustic and based on the seasons. Look out for Lampuki Pie (fish pie), Rabbit Stew, Bragioli (beef olives), Kapunata, (Maltese version of ratatouille), and widow's soup, which includes a small round of Gbejniet (sheep or goat's cheese).

Is Malta safe for solo female? ›

Malta is very safe for solo travellers. The locals are friendly and speak English, there's a vast network for public transport and there is a low crime rate throughout the island. What is Malta known for?

What country is weed illegal in? ›

1. United Arab Emirates. Drug possession is no joke in the United Arab Emirates. Even carrying residual amounts of any drug, including marijuana, can land you four years in prison, which is the minimum jail sentence.

Is weed law in Italy? ›

At present, cannabis is legal in Italy for medical and industrial uses, although it is strictly regulated, while it is decriminalized for recreational uses. In particular, the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use is a civil infraction.

Can you smoke in Mauritius? ›

Smoking is prohibited in all indoor public places, which is defined to include workplaces and public transport. In addition, smoking is prohibited in a number of outdoor places, including outdoor areas of government buildings, healthcare facilities, educational facilities, and cafes, bars, and restaurants.

What was the day weed was legal in Canada? ›

Introduction. With the coming into force of the Cannabis Act (the Act) on October 17, 2018, the Government of Canada legalized and strictly regulated the production, distribution, sale, import and export, and possession of cannabis for adults of legal age.

What is 710 in weed? ›

What does the slang term “710” mean? 710 is slang for oil because if you turn 710 upside down, it looks like OIL. Cannabis oil is one of the many concentrates that can be used when “dabbing.”

Why is 420 so special? ›

The origins of the date, and the term “420” generally, were long murky. Some claimed it referred to a police code for marijuana possession or that it arose from Bob Dylan's “Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35,” with its refrain of “Everybody must get stoned” — 420 being the product of 12 times 35.

Why is Malta so run down? ›

No wonder much of Malta looks run down and crumbling as World War II saw Malta bombed beyond recognition and areas are still being rebuilt and restored today.

Can you walk around Malta in a day? ›

You are able to walk the entirety of the Maltese coastline and the variety that can be found from the rural countryside, to historical fortifications through to beautiful bays and sheer cliff-faces. The entirety of the coast should probably be broken down into smaller chunks of around 4-6 hours each.

What is Malta currency? ›

The currency of Malta is the Euro.

Can you smoke in clubs in Malta? ›

Nightclubs there have a free admission policy (unless a big-name DJ is performing) and alcohol is relatively cheap. However, be aware that Maltese partygoers tend to smoke inside of nightclubs (with relative impunity) even though Malta was one of the first countries in the European Union to embrace the no smoking ban.

How much are cigarettes in Malta? ›

Retail price of a pack of 20 cigarettes in European Union countries in 2022 (in euros)
CharacteristicRetail price in euros
9 more rows
Jun 1, 2023

What is the speed fine in Malta? ›

Under Maltese law anybody caught speeding up to 15km/h over the limit is liable to a fine of €34.94, while any speeding offence of a larger magnitude triggers a fine of €69.88.

Can airport scanners detect CBD oil? ›

Since most commercial CBD products follow these strict guidelines, theoretically you should be able to fly with your CBD. Of course, a TSA agent will not be able to immediately tell if a CBD product contains less than 0.3% THC. No on-site testing is done on the product.

Can I bring CBD through airport? ›

Within the U.S., you can fly with CBD products that contain less than 0.3 percent THC. However, TSA rules very much apply, in that any liquids (oils, tinctures, creams) must be less than 3 ounces. You can bring a CBD vape pen through airport security in your carry-on, but not in your checked baggage.

Can I take CBD gummies to Europe? ›

Traveling To Europe With CBD

On top of this, the European Union classifies hemp as having a THC threshold of 0.1%, so your American full spectrum CBD oil may be illegal even in the European countries that have legalized it because of its THC content. It's best that you don't travel with any CBD to Europe.

Is it expensive to live in Malta? ›

Cost of Living in Malta

Generally, the expenses run low on the island. You could live a comfortable life on a budget of €1,800 to €2,000 a month. As Malta is an island country, imported products or goods can be higher. On average, utilities (water, electricity, fuel and internet) can cost between €100 to €150 a month.

What religion is Malta? ›

The Constitution of Malta establishes Catholicism as the state religion, and it is also reflected in various elements of Maltese culture. According to a 2018 survey, the overwhelming majority of the Maltese population adheres to Christianity (95.2%) with Catholicism as the main denomination (93.9%).

How much weed can you legally have in Germany? ›

The Legal Status of Marijuana in Germany
StateInsignificant Amount
Saxony / SachsenUp to 6g
Rhineland-Palatinate / Rheinland-PfalzUp to 10g
North Rhine-Westfalia / Nordrhein-WestfalenUp to 10g
BerlinUp to 15g
12 more rows

How much weed is legal in Spain? ›

In Spain, it is illegal to consume or possess cannabis in public places. However, it is legal to possess up to 100 grams of cannabis for personal and private use. The criminal law states that the use, possession or production of cannabis for personal use, exclusively, does not constitute a crime.

What is Chapter 628 of the laws of Malta? ›

Act LXVI of 2021 (Chapter 628 of the Laws of Malta), which establishes the Authority on the Responsible Use of Cannabis and amends various laws relating to certain cannabis activities, has entered into force today, thereby a strong and robust reform is being implemented in the way our society perceives and treats ...

What countries is weed legal 2023? ›

Top 20 Countries Where Weed Is Legal In 2023
  • Canada. With the passing of the Cannabis Act in 2018, weed in Canada became legal for medicinal and recreational use after almost a century of prohibition. ...
  • Thailand. Source: Markus Winkler/Pexels. ...
  • Argentina. ...
  • Mexico. ...
  • Belize. ...
  • Costa Rica. ...
  • Jamaica. ...
  • Colombia.

Can drug dogs smell edibles? ›

Dan Hayter, founder of K9 Global Training Academy and a former chief of the military drug dog trainer, agrees that edibles aren't impossible to trace. "A dog can be taught to recognize marijuana mixed into flour without too much difficulty," he says.

What happens if you get caught with a joint in Germany? ›

It's illegal to possess cannabis in Germany, in accordance with the German Federal Narcotics Act (Betäubungsmittelgesetz). Technically, if caught in possession of any drugs, the offender can be punished with up to five years in prison.

Is it legal to smoke weed in Denmark? ›

In short — no, you cannot use marijuana in Denmark for recreational purposes (by law, at least). The possession and use of marijuana in the country are forbidden by law. Weed in Copenhagen is also not allowed, even if you smoke in Freetown Christiania.

Is it legal to smoke weed in Portugal? ›

Is weed legal in Portugal? No, drugs (like cannabis) are decriminalised in Portugal but that doesn't mean that they're legal. In practice this means you're unlikely to go to jail for possession, but that doesn't mean you can legally purchase drugs either.

Can I smoke weed in my house in Spain? ›

Although there is some confusion among tourists, cannabis use in Spain is not legalised but decriminalised. It is not illegal to smoke weed in your own home, or on other private property such as an association.

How long is jail time for weed in Spain? ›

Recreational use

It is prohibited to produce, import or sell recreational cannabis. Article 368 of the Spanish Criminal Code criminalises the cultivation of cannabis when it promotes, favours or facilitates the illegal consumption of drugs and establishes a prison sentence of three to six years.

What law does Malta follow? ›

The Maltese Legal system is a synthesis of the various legal cultures which exerted influence on it during the long years of colonial rule. Although British rule was officialised in 1814, the British refrained from imposing common law in Malta.

What is the human rights law in Malta? ›

On 15 June 1802, 104 representatives from the Maltese towns and villages signed a declaration which affirmed a monarchical power and a fundamental set of rights: Free men have a right to choose their own religion. That no man whatsoever has any personal authority over the life, property or liberty of another.

What is Chapter 545 Laws of Malta? ›

1CHAPTER 545REGULATOR FOR ENERGY ANDWATER SERVICES ACTTo provide for the establishment of a Regulator to be known as theRegulator for Energy and Water Services and for the exercise by or onbehalf of that Regulator of regulatory functions regarding services relatingto energy and water, and to make provision with respect ...

When did Canada legalize weed? ›

With the coming into force of the Cannabis Act (the Act) on October 17, 2018, the Government of Canada legalized and strictly regulated the production, distribution, sale, import and export, and possession of cannabis for adults of legal age.

Is it illegal to be high in public in Canada? ›

Adults can generally smoke or vape cannabis in a public place where smoking and vaping tobacco is not prohibited, but there are some additional areas where smoking and vaping cannabis will not be permitted. » On public patios (for example, a restaurant patio).


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