A number of leading figures in the government have echoed anti-drug messages from the Patriarch’s annual Christmas epistle. Ilia II, the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, stressed the ‘importance of elaborating an anti-drug policy’.
An investigation into Georgian rap duo Birja Mafia, whose members faced life imprisonment on drug charges they claimed were bogus, has been halted ‘due to lack of evidence’.
Hundreds of people demonstrated in Tbilisi on 10 December after parliament delayed hearings for a draft law that would decriminalise drug use in the country. Activists have accused the authorities of needlessly delaying procedures. [Read more…]
Georgia’s highest court, the Constitutional Court, has ruled that it is unconstitutional to criminally prosecute people for consuming cannabis, effectively decriminalising its use. This is short of decriminalising the purchase, storage, or sale of cannabis, and is not legalisation. [Read more…]
Georgia, a country where every third prisoner is serving time for drugs, may be about to transform its strict drug policy into a far more liberal system. Activists and reformers are hoping that new legislation could change Georgia’s system away from what they call ‘the war against the people’. [Read more…]
Tbilisi City Court has fined Beka Tsikarishvili, who became an icon for drug reform activists in the country, with ₾2,000 ($820) for possession of 69 grammes of cannabis. [Read more…]
A number of minor opposition parties and drug reform advocacy groups have directly accused Georgia’s authorities of blame for the reported poisoning of at least 10 people, with one dead at the GemFest music festival. They argue that the government’s strict drug laws meant that drug users do not know what substances they are taking, and are unable to verify them. [Read more…]
Actor Giorgi Giorganashvili who had been detained on drug charges, was released on bail on 14 July, after tens of protesters rallied in his support the previous day. [Read more…]
In May 2016, Tbilisi’s Kiwi Café — a vegan hangout for city hipsters — was hit by nationalist youths armed with meat sausages. The grotesque spectacle was obvious click-bait in today’s attention seeking social media, but it did highlight a new trend: social and lifestyle issues increasingly trump Georgia’s latent political rifts, and young people are at the forefront of this evolution.