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Deputy Interior Minister: Marijuana Cultivation Draft No Longer on Agenda

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, November 1
Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Natia Mezvrishvili, says that government-initiated marijuana cultivation project has been postponed for an indefinite period and it no longer is on the agenda.

“As for the withdrawal of the draft law, four MPs have raised this issue, but withdrawal has its own procedures and they, as well as government members, are well aware of it,” she noted.

According to the Deputy Minister, the author of the draft law is the government and if it decides to withdraw the draft law, it will be withdrawn.

“The issue is not on the agenda and therefore, it is unreasonable to worry about it," said Natia Mezvrishvili.

The draft was prepared and presented to the cabinet members by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA). According to the draft, marijuana production would be announced as a licensed activity but only for export and only for medical and cosmetic purposes.

According to the bill, the licensing conditions will define the geographical area, quantity and other issues related to marijuana production in Georgia.

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Giorgi Gakharia, stated a special agency would be set up for licensing marijuana cultivation.

After the Church voiced its harsh position and criticized the initiative, Georgia’s Parliament Speaker, Irakli Kobakhidze, announced that discussions over the issue in the legislative body have been delayed, in order to launch wider consultations.

As for the second draft about marijuana consumption, the Legal Committee of the Parliament supported the draft which introduces regulations on marijuana consumption.

The project was presented by Mezvrishvili and she says that the changes followed July 30 decision of the Constitutional Court which decriminalized marijuana consumption.

The legislative amendment restricts marijuana consumption in public space and transport, in or within the property of the education institution, in the presence of a minor, during the gathering of the underage people or near the location they are assembled, during the activity of public servants, doctors and teachers.

In short, the changes allow marijuana and cannabis consumption only at home.

Moreover, illegal purchase, storage, transportation and / or sending of small amounts of cannabis or marijuana will be subject to a fine of 500 GEL;

Also, smoking of cannabis in other buildings except the home will result in a fine from 500 to 100 GEL. In case of repeated violations, the fine will be increased up to 1500 GEL.

Consumption of marijuana by people under 21 will be fined by GEL 500-1000 and if repeated, the penalty will be increased up to 1500 GEL.

Consumption of the cannabis in the presence of the people under 18 or near the educational institutions, will result in the fine of GEL 1000-1500 and if repeated, the fine will be increased up to 2000 GEL.

If a person goes to work under the effect of marijuana, he/she will be fined by GEL 1000-1500 and if repeated, from 1500 to 2000 GEL.

Smoking marijuana during military service will cause fine of GEL 1000-1500 GEL and in case of repeated violations, the fine goes up to 2000 GEL.