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Interior Minister Says Drug Policy Must Be Balanced

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, January 23
(TBILISI) - Georgia’s Minister of Internal Affairs Giorgi Gakharia says that the country’s new drug policy must be balanced so that the drug consumption is not encouraged.

Gakharia also offered discussing the aspects of the new policy in the format of the state intergovernmental commission, which unites people from different political parties and the civil sector.

The minister claimed that selecting the commission as centre of such talks would save time.

Gakharia says the attitude to the drug selling and keeping should be even stricter than it is now.

“We can understand very well that humane drug policy is the only outcome. However, a balance between the humane attitude and the risks of encouraging drug consumers must be kept to prevent people from using drugs,” Gakharia said.

Georgia’s civil sector and the opposition have been demanding liberal drug policy for years, claiming that the country’s law enforcers use the existing tough policy for illegal interests.

Only the consumption of marijuana has been decriminalized, while people for consuming other drugs are still sent to prison.

The Parliament of Georgia is due to discuss and vote the draft on the liberal drug policy.

However, the majority says they are not still unanimous over the bill that lingers discussion and voting over the issue.

The most recent report of the Human Rights Watch mentioned the country’s tough drug policy, echoing the view of the opposition and NGOs over the topic.