Majority MP: Marijuana Legalization Came Too Early for Georgia

The ruling Georgian Dream (GD) MP, and the Chair of the Healthcare Committee of Parliament, Akaki Zoidze, disagrees with the July 30 decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia legalizing marijuana consumption.

Zoidze says that marijuana legalization comes too early for Georgia and more time should have been taken prepariing such a law.

The Chair of the Healthcare Committee, who is the co-author of the new draft drug policy, says the abolition of an administrative sentence on marijuana consumption was not included in the draft.

“I do not agree with the decision of the Constitutional Court…Marijuana consumption should be allowed only for medical purposes...our aim was not to make marijuana accessible for everyone but to reduce the number of drug-addicts,” he noted.

Zoidze explained that the regulations on marijuana use, such as prohibition of smoking in public spaces or concert halls, should be strictly observed, adding it has a very negative affect on the health of the underage.

“If consumed regularly, it suspends development of the underage seven times, a fact proven by numerous studies. In this regard it is scientifically justified why some kind of regulation should be introduced. I personally will support such regulations, "Zoidze said.

NGO White Noise member Beka Tsikarishvili welcomed the court's decision, but added some issues remain unsolved, like the increase of drug-addicts and absence of proper medical services and rehabilitation for such people.

“After the court decision, fines will not be applied for marijuana use, although this does not mean legalization of possession, which is still punishable…There are many challenges left in the country regarding the drug policy,” Tsikarishvili stated.

By Thea Morrison

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Smoking Marijuana Legalized in Georgia

31 July 2018 10:30