PM Irakli Garibashvili expressed his “sharply negative” stance towards calls for marijuana decriminalization and said that such move would have “deplorable consequences.”
“I personally have a sharply negative attitude and I know there is no unanimous position within the team [Georgian Dream ruling coalition] about it,” he said at a session of government on June 4.
“It would mean complete revision of our drug policy and consequences need thorough consideration,” the PM said.
PM’s comments come after a rally in support of decriminalization of marijuana was held outside the government’s office in Tbilisi on June 2. Such rallies are held in the capital and some other cities of the country annually on June 2, since 2013.
Under the Georgian law possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal use, without intent to sell, is an administrative offense, punishable with GEL 500 fine.
Repeated offense carries criminal punishment with up to one year imprisonment.
Former UNM MP Goga Khachidze has initiated a bill, which, if approved, will decriminalize possession and use of marijuana, but will leave it as an administrative offense, punishable with GEL 100 fine.
“I know young people are speaking emotionally about it, but this is an issue of principle, and we are obliged to realize its deplorable consequences. I am personally completely, categorically against of it,” PM Garibashvili said.
“Instead of thinking about decriminalization of marijuana, we should think about how to create happy and strong future for our future generation and about their healthy lifestyle; then they will demand its legalization and we will get deplorable consequences for our future generations,” he said.
“It is regrettable that the public does not speak about development of mountainous [regions], demographic issues, which should be the most painful issues for us; instead they speak about smoking marijuana freely in the streets. Let them, who want legalization of marijuana so much, call on their own children to do so,” the PM said.