The nation of Georgia officially legalized the consumption of cannabis this week in a Constitutional Court ruling, according to an RFE/RL report. The ruling, however, does not legalize the sale or cultivation of the plant.
The ruling was prompted by a lawsuit filed by activists with the Girchi, Georgia’s liberal opposition party.
“According to the applicants [Zurab Japaridze and Vakhtang Megrelishvili], the consumption of marijuana is not an act of social threat. In particular, it can only harm the user’s health, making that user him/herself responsible for the outcome. The responsibility for such actions does not cause dangerous consequences for the public.
The Constitutional Court highlights the imposition of responsibility of marijuana consumption when it creates a threat to third parties. For instance, the court will justify responsibility when marijuana is consumed in educational institutions, public places, such as on public transport, and in the presence of children.” — Georgia Constitutional Court, in the ruling
The Girchi party — which was established in November 2015 and started pushing for cannabis reforms in November 2016 — says it will continue to push for the full decriminalization of the plant. Georgia is the first former Soviet nation to legalize the consumption of cannabis.
“This wasn’t a fight for cannabis. This was a fight for freedom.” — Zurab Japaridze, activist and chairman of the Girchi party, via RFE/RL