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Patriarch Denounces Marijuana Consumption Legalization in Georgia

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, August 7
Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II disapproves the decision of the Constitutional Court on abolishing administrative punishment for the use of marijuana in the country.

During the August 5 service in the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Tbilisi, Ilia II stated that permission of drug consumption is “hostility” towards the nation.

The Patriarch believes that the people, who decided on the legalization of marijuana use, do not agree with it, but they are under pressure.

“I am convinced that those people, who granted this permission for drug consumption, do not agree with it themselves, but they are under pressure, and they were forced to take this decision,” he added.

Ilia II says that the decision of the court was “a big mistake” and it would promote drug trade in the country and the entire region as well.

“We must not forget that if we allow drugs, we should allow drug trade and drug production. The main thing is that this will turn Georgia into a drug center, as the youth from the neighboring states will also arrive here,” he explained.

The patriarch called on the government, intellectuals and young people to take care of our homeland and people.

“I ask you all not to kill your children and not to let this disorder develop. God give you strength and wisdom," the Patriarch said.

Before Ilia II, several clergymen of the Georgian Orthodox Church spoke against the judges who made the controversial decision and stated that the whole Constitutional Court needed to be abolished.

Archpriest Andria Jagmaidze made a statement on behalf of the Georgian Orthodox Church last week, saying the Constitutional Court is not a necessary attribute of a democratic state.

He explained that four judges should not have the right to decide for the whole nation and called for holding the referendum.

Minister of IDPs, Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, David Sergeenko also stated he does not approve the ruling.

According to him, representatives of many professions should be prohibited from using marijuana, including doctors, teachers, and pilots.

The Constitutional Court of Georgia abolished administrative punishment for marijuana consumption on July 30, but the decision refers only to usage, not realization, cultivation or storage of cannabis.