03:28, Thursday, 21.02.2019
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Parliament renewed discussion of drug-policy liberalization draft-law


Natia Gogolashvili

The legislative authority of Georgia continued discussion of the drug-policy reform. It is noteworthy that the Parliament of Georgia postponed discussion of the drug-policy liberalization draft-law but after the events of May 12, the chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia stated that the bill on the drug-policy shall be ready for the next two weeks. 

“We have made some statements about the drug-policy related draft-law, when it will be drafted and when it will be adopted. Our purpose is that by the end of current session - by the end of June, we should finalize adoption of the law. It means, the bill shall be drafted within the next two weeks. Our main goal is to reach agreement within the majority, consequently we will start working in this direction and within the next two weeks, we will have final agreement on key principles – it is the objective and I think it is realistic that we will achieve it,” Irakli Kobakhidze said.
Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee of Healthcare and Social Issues Akaki Zoidze said the decision-making process cannot last endlessly. He said, they might conduct internal ballot about the drug-policy. Zoidze said the legislation will become stricter with the so-called “pharmacy drug-addiction.”

“Life-imprisonment and other strict imprisonment terms will be used against drug-dealers again. Also, punishments will be stricter with regard to realization of psychotropic substances from pharmacies. There will be leverages, which will reduce this realization. Administrative sanctions will be used against minor drug-offences,” Zoidze said.

“Today we should not discuss whether the drug-policy is effective or ineffective. We should discuss the steps to be taken by the authority to make the fight against drug-dealers effective and on the other hand to offer effective rehabilitation programs to drug-addicts. But there is no coordination and vision about the drug-policy in the Georgian Dream,” the deputy chairperson of the healthcare committee of the parliament Zurab Tchiaberashvili said. 

The MPs registered the draft-law about the drug-policy in June 2017: the initiators were Akaki Zoidze, Levan Koberidze, Dimitry Tskitishvili, Irine Pruidze and Sofo Katsarava. Consequently, it is almost one year that the legislative body is discussing the bill as the parliament postponed its consideration several times. The head of the legislative body promised the society that the Parliament will finalize discussion of the drug-policy related bill by the end of June.  

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