President George Vella said Tuesday he had reservations about extending the legal use of cannabis beyond medical care. 

"As a doctor and as a father, I have reservations about how wise it would be to extend the legal use of cannabis beyond medical care. We should rely on the advice of experts in such matters," Dr Vella told a conference on drugs and mental health organised by the OASI foundation and Naxxar local council. 

In his address, Dr Vella said it would be a mistake to view people suffering a drug problem or a mental health issue as being somehow different or inferior to the rest of society. 

He thanked volunteers, NGOs and relatives of patients for their support as well as professionals for their care to ensure that patients were able to resume active participation in society. 

He also confirmed that mental health issues would be a priority of his presidency and said talks are underway with the Commissioner for Mental Health on a national conference aimed at removing the stigma associated with mental health.  

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