Ex-cannabis boss gets government consultancy advising on drug prevention

Mariella Dimech, the government’s first cannabis regulator who was fired after ten months in office, has been given another government position, this time advising on drug use prevention.

Last July, eight months after her departure as the first executive chair of the Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis (ARUC), Dimech was given a fresh consultancy by Labour Family Minister Michael Falzon to offer him “advice on the prevention of drug abuse.”

Falzon’s ministry already has a number of professionals from the government agency Sedqa working on these matters, providing expert and professional advice related to drug use.

Her appointment came at a time when the government was issuing licences to new cannabis clubs, allowing small groups to grow their own drugs and distribute them among members.

Sources at the agency told The Shift that Dimech’s latest consultancy, awarded through direct order, was to compensate for her removal from her previous position.

According to the Government Gazette, Dimech will make €21,000 a year from the consultancy.

Still, this is a far cry from the €82,000 contract given to her in her cannabis role.

Although Dimech’s sudden departure from ARUC was never explained by the government, she was criticised in the media, especially by pro-cannabis lobby groups, for not delivering.

Dimech, 60, became a psychotherapist after graduating from the University of Malta as a mature student.

She started her career as an air hostess in Saudi Arabia and joined Caritas after a stint in the tourism industry.

While at Caritas, Dimech vehemently opposed the legalisation of cannabis, insisting on TV shows that the drug’s regularisation would be harmful to society.

However, she aligned with the Labour Party government when they announced legislation to allow the growing of cannabis for personal use and provisions for it to be sold and shared with members of cannabis clubs.

Dimech also presented several state-sponsored TV programmes produced by her brother and chief government spin doctor and Malta Today co-owner Saviour Balzan.


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16 days ago

‘Her brother Saviour Balzan’: that explains it all.

4 days ago
Reply to  vic

Indeed. The PL family always sticks together and supports one another, thanks to those who are still deluded enough to still vote for that party.

12 days ago

Naive , with her brother Saviour Balzan , singing the government’s songs?
Declaring oneself Naive , is a serious matter. It is a nice word for ” STUPID”

4 days ago
Reply to  makjavel

It has become the ‘nice word’ for excusing all and everything these days.

4 days ago

No intention for sneering on my part, but it is always the same here. People who fail in their highly paid jobs get another chance despite the fact that they have proven to be incompetent.

Those who fail in their jobs and are not protected and promoted by the PL get nothing.

The PL has turned Malta into a swamp. A very deep and ugly one.

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