TBILISI, August 2 (Itar-Tass) —— A number of Georgian and foreign media outlets highlighted the possible legalization of marijuana in Georgia on Tuesday.
“The national parliament is drafting a law on the partial legalization of marijuana in resorts,” the Tbilisi newspaper Alia wrote with the reference to insider information. A source told the newspaper on the condition of anonymity that the right to buy and smoke marijuana would be given to foreign tourists only. “There will be coffee shops in tourist zones where marijuana purchase and smoking will be permitted legally,” he said.
The newspaper claimed that the legalization of marijuana would draw more foreign tourists to Georgia.
It is hard to say how reliable the newspaper’s source is, but members of the parliamentary majority, the ruling United National Movement, strongly rejected the option. “That is a canard, a wishful thinking. Georgia has enough tourists without legalizing marijuana,” the deputies said.
The parliamentary minority heard nothing about the plans either. “This is the first time I hear about such plans. I very much doubt the correctness of these reports,” member of the parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee, Chairman of the opposition faction Unity for Justice Giorgi Tsagareishvili said.
Effective laws in Georgia punish consumption of narcotic drugs, including marijuana, with a fine of 500 lari ($302) and/or an administrative arrest of 30 days. A recurring offense is punished with the arrest of up to twelve months.
The world has three conventions to regulate the drugs situation: the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, the UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971 and the UN Convention against the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988. Georgia is a member of all the three conventions.