The sitting of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee
The Parliament started development of drug policy liberalization. Committee considered the draft on Narcotic Means, Psychotropic Agents, Pre-cursors and Addiction Aid. The draft is entailed with the Decision of the Constitutional Court of October 24, 2015 N1/4/592 and the Judgment of February 15, 2017 N3/1/855.
As the acting Justice Minister, Alexander Baramidze stated, compliance of the public threat and respective penalty deriving from the committed actions have been considered upon development. “Despite that Marihuana has hazardous impact on health, preparation, storage, acquisition or transportation in small amount for personal use without threat of distribution and sale, is not hazardous for other persons and public order and hence, no criminal responsibility shall be imposed”.
The changes envisage preparation, purchase, storage and transportation of cannabis and marihuana in small amount for personal use will not entail detention. “Preparation of drugs, similar agents or pre-cursors in small amount, as well as illegal purchase, storage or use will be subject to administrative responsibility and in case of repetition – to criminal responsibility”.
15-day administrative detention shall as well be annulled. Administrative penalty shall envisage fine of 300 GEL or corrective labor of 1-6 months. The draft envisages change of definition of small and large amount of drugs – in case plant cannabis, large amount is defined with 140 gr instead of 50; particularly large amount – 1000 gr instead of 250; marihuana – dried form – large amount – 70 gr instead of 50, raw form – 140 gr instead of 100.
As noted, speaking about state policy and legislation on drugs, we shall tell 3 various terms apart: 1. Liberalization of law; 2. Decriminalization; 3. Legalization. All these terms have various meanings. Liberalization is when you alleviate the penalty but maintain responsibility. This is what draft offers instead of decriminalization or legalization”. The Committee supported the draft.