The messenger logo

Public Defender echoes drug-related draft law

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, April 19
Georgia’s Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili has echoed the bill of amendments to the Law on Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances, Precursors, and Narcological Assistance initiated by the Government of Georgia in Parliament.

In his special statement, Nanuashvili stressed that it is important that the earlier decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia over the issue to be taken into account.

He stressed the government-proposed amendments are “fragmented and cannot fundamentally change the country’s repressive drug policy”.

He said the changes only “formally respond” to the standard established by the Constitutional Court, as they do not take into account the main aim of the decision of the Constitutional Court – the unconstitutionality of the application of imprisonment for possession of a certain amount of drugs for personal usage and the danger of self-harm.

The Ombudsman believes that the “repressive drug policy” should be replaced by a more humane drug variant and more resources should be focused on rehabilitation and treatment of individuals instead of their punishment.

“Unfortunately, the proposed legislative package does not take into account this approach. The initiated bills do not concern the purchase-possession of other types of drugs, including the so-called synthetic drugs and psychotropic substances, for personal usage; the issue of minimum amounts of drugs is problematic and needs systemic revision,” he said.

The Public Defender considered that it is unjustifiable to apply the measure of imprisonment for the use of any drug and/or other psychotropic substances and/or purchase, storage and production of relatively small amount of drugs for personal usage.

The government of Georgia must continue fighting with so-called pharmacy drug usage, when people - especially younger generations - still manage to buy medicine and use it as narcotics; in many cases, these trigger severe health-related difficulties.

It will also be welcomed if the government finds funds to take better care of drug users.

It is also very important that the punishment for those selling drugs or those trying to get people involved in drug usage be very strictly punished.