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Georgian Court Decriminalizes Marijuana Consumption

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, December 4
(TBILISI)--Georgia’s Constitutional Court on December 1 ruled to decriminalize marijuana consumption

NGOs and opposition political parties had long called for a liberalization of the country’s soft drug policies as they believed the government used tough anti-drug laws to suppress dissent.

The previous law on marijuana consumption was particularly strict under ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili. Possession of the drug carried a minimum seven-year prison sentence and a hefty fine.

The Constitutional Court firstly decriminalized marijuana consumption in 2015. At the time of the ruling, the law allowed an individual to consume up to 70grams of dried cannabis. A year later the same court ended mandatory prison sentences for repeat offenders.

As part of the most recent ruling, the court did not specify a limit or the legal amount of cannabis that can be consumed by one person.

The purchase and sale of any drug remains a criminal offense.