The messenger logo

Anti-drug policy is changing

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Wednesday, February 19
Substances used to prepare synthetic cannabis will soon become illegal in Georgia.

According to the Minister of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, Davit Sergeenko, the law on criminalizing the basic biochemical formulas used to create synthetic cannabis has been almost completed. Sergeenko said these kinds of drugs are very difficult to control; this is why its components will become illegal.

"From now on, these substances will be considered as illegal and all the control mechanisms and limits that are set on other legal or illegal drugs will be valid for synthetic cannabis too,” Sergeenko said.

Sergeenko said that anti-drug policy has been weak in the country and had many defects. “I am talking about it openly and we are working on a better version of anti-drug policy,” Sergeenko said.

According to him, everything will be considered in the project, starting with law changes, through educational and treatment.

Allegedly, the initiative to join to the international convention and make synthetic cannabis illegal belongs to the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

Once the proposed changes are discussed, it will be sent to parliament for further discussion.

The drug-related issue has become much talked of after a 23 year old man was found dead at Cafe Gallery. According to the unofficial information, the death was caused by a drug overdose, as the man was under the effect of synthetic cannabis, known as Bio.

Parts of society have been asking the government to think of the decriminalization of marijuana, claiming that it has less harmful effects on health than for example Bio or even alcohol.

According to the Chief Neurologist at the Mental Health and Drug Abuse Prevention Center, Tata Asatiani, synthetic cannabis, is toxic and sometimes can cause addiction. Natural marihuana does not cause any physical addiction, but can cause psychological addiction.

This is why she thinks that marijuana should be decriminalized in Georgia. “The consumption of marijuana must not be considered a criminal offense- it does not have to be punished,” Asatiania said, stressing that still there are no reliable studies conducted in Georgia over this issue.