Constitutional Court says Marijuana usage is not criminal offence

Georgia’s Constitutional Court said sending people to prison for repeat marijuana use was inhumane and unconstitutional. Photo by N.Alavidze/, 30 Nov 2017 - 16:39, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Constitutional Court has revealed a verdict today, saying that no one will be sent to prison for using marijuana.

The same court decriminalized the use of the drug in 2015, but the solution only concerned up to 70gr dried cannabis.

 In September 2016 the court also banned imprisonment for repeated use of up to 70gr marijuana.

In today’s ruling the court gave no certain amount of drugs which could be only of personal usage and stated that using the drug without a doctor’s prescription, for recreational purposes, must not be a criminal offence.

However, the verdict does not remove the fine and the administrative punishment for using the drug.

The ruling does not also concern the purchase and sale of drugs which still remain a criminal offence.

The author of the legal suit was a Georgian citizen Givi Shanidze, whose interests were protected by the political party Girchi member Iago Khvichia.

The man demanded the removal of the 273th article of the criminal code which envisages punishment for marijuana usage without a doctor’s prescription.

 Before October 2015, Georgia’s laws on marijuana allowed a person to be jailed for seven to 14 years if he or she was found with a large amount of marijuana. The same law determined 50-500g of marijuana as "a large amount”.