Marijuana consumption regulations unveiled by Georgia’s Interior Ministry

An activist on a public protest for decriminalising marijuana consumption. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 05 Sep 2018 - 17:31, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has released information on limitations to consumption of marijuana, following the Constitutional Court of Georgia’s decision that decreed a universal ban on it unconstitutional earlier this year.

Following the court decision, which effectively cleared consumption of the substance from being a criminal offence, the ministry has announced a range of conditions that will remain unlawful.

The law enforcement institution said outlining exceptions to the decriminalisation of marijuana usage was needed to “protect order and public safety”.

The proposed law will be submitted to the Georgian government for approval at its next meeting.

If approved, the law will keep ban on consumption of marijuana:

  • In public space;
  • In public transport;
  • In the presence of a minor;
  • Within, and on the property of educational institutions, as well as venues designated for individuals aged under 18;
  • At public gatherings for minors, and within a certain radius of them;
  • During work activity for certain professions (examples include medical professions, teachers and public servants);

In addition, being under the influence of marijuana while driving, as well as selling or handing the substance over to minors, or persuading them to consume, will remain criminal offences.

Bans on professional activity and limitation of civil rights are also employable by the ministry towards individuals of certain professions for violating the proposed regulations.

The Constitutional Court of Georgia delivered its decision on the unconstitutionality of universal ban on marijuana consumption on July 30, making it a landmark decision following years of legal work and public activism around the subject.