Georgian Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze stated on September 20 that parliament will withdraw the marijuana cultivation bill if lawmakers see any threat that the bill may encourage illegal circulation of the drug.
Parliament May Withdraw Marijuana Export Bill
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, September 21
Kobakhidze said that the parliament suspended discussions on the bill as part of Georgians and especially the Georgian church has shown a negative attitude to the issue.
“We are the political force whose main value is human and protection its dignity…We listen to the society and the church. Based on these values and principles, as you know, we have made a decision to suspend the discussion of the above-mentioned bill in the Parliament of Georgia.
“We believe that we are absolutely honorable towards the Georgian society and the church because the proposed draft law does not provide the production and selling of drugs. However, if there is a risk that this bill may encourage illegal circulation of narcotic drugs, we will make the decision to withdraw the bill,” Kobakhidze said.
Kobakhidze claimed that political forces used the issue for their own interests to trigger the public turmoil.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs, which is the author of the marijuana export bill, says that the period parliament delayed the bill discussion, should be used to inform the people over the benefits of the law.
Deputy Interior Minister Natia Mezvrishvili re-explained that marijuana can be cultivated and exported for only medical and cosmetic purposes.
Georgian Finance Minister Ivane Machavariani says that the export may bring 1 billion GEL benefit for the Georgian economy.
The Georgian government announced earlier this month that the Interior Ministry drafted a bill which, if confirmed by parliament, will permit the cultivation and export of marijuana for medical and cosmetic purposes.
Archbishop Jacob stated in response that the government would see large-scale rallies if the bill is approved.
The Interior Ministry presented two bills in parliament regarding marijuana: one about the restrictions on marijuana consumption, which has already been approved on the first reading in parliament on Thursday and the second- on marijuana cultivation and export.