The Equality Rights Group last month announced that it would bring leading experts on the question of cannabis and drugs to Gibraltar to discuss the subject.

This comes of the back of heated debate on the subject of legalisation of medical cannabis which has circulated through Parliament, the local press and social media.

“Gibraltar needs expert information (regrettably, relevant ‘expertise’ quoted in the Viewpoint TV debate was many years out of date). And while calm and serious evidence and study is necessary, none of this can be an excuse for interminable committees and vague statements,” said Felix Alvarez, ERG Chairman. “We trust that the Gibraltar Government’s Inter-Ministerial Committee will be open to taking evidence from qualified and credible, recognised experts of the highest calibre whenever we come to an arrangement for their visit to Gibraltar.”

The group also praised what it calls ‘increasing activism’ of individuals and Civil Society in Gibraltar which forms part of our ‘social legacy’.

Mr Alvarez said that theses individuals can depend on the group’s fullest support as it encourages citizens to ‘speak up and speak out to those in power’.

“All our media professionals must be congratulated for the important part they play in engaging and informing us all,” he said. “There are a number of issues that indicate that Gibraltar is starting to lose patience. Prominent amongst these is that people need help today on the important questions surrounding psychoactive substances in our society.”

Mr Alvarez said that the ‘Connected Health’ warmly embraces the indisputable public endorsement of this view, and it encourages citizens to ‘speak up and speak out to those in power’.

“People with a multitude of medical ailments need answers, they do not deserve to be kept in pain when there are solutions, and those answers are needed sooner rather than later from those with responsibility for drugs policy in Gibraltar,” he said. “‘But organised crime cannot be allowed to continue being Gibraltar’s de facto drug regulators.”

‘Mr Alvarez said that, excellent as it was to see medicinal cannabis supported by an overwhelming majority of GBC Poll participants, it is by no means the whole picture.

“It falls short. There are still many others in our community that, in one way or another, are being harmed by a system which punishes rather than supports,” he said. “We will continue to insist: a regulatory system customised to Gibraltar’s needs must still be instituted. Government and the GHA must take control away from the criminals. It is nothing less than wrong and immoral to look the other way on this. To participate only in fighting for partial measures which help one sector, whilst choosing to look away from others is unkind and morally incoherent.”