“Marijuana will save us!” – Stoners speak out
05 June, 2014
“Marijuana will save us!” – Stoners speak out
Last Friday the square in front of the Georgian Chancellery building became a party site. Tents and loud music – this is how hundreds of people, along with several celebrities, protested the country’s strict laws regarding marijuana. They were united by a single idea: “Georgia’s government needs to stop the insulting practice of convicting its citizens as felons for usage of marijuana as soon as possible.”

“I am not a criminal,” “Marijuana is just a plant,” “Loosen
the laws,” “Stop the oppressive drug policy” – such were the slogans written on banners that the protesters held.
The organizers of the rally deny that their goal is the promotion of drug use, saying that it is quite the contrary: an expression of solidarity with those suffering from the harsh penalties of the current legislation. Lekso Machavariani, one of the main figureheads behind the protest, said that they were protesting against the country’s drug policy that sees a lot of innocent people cruelly punished every year. He added that their goal was personal liberty and that it had nothing to do with promoting marijuana. Another organizer said that cannabis should be distinguished from heavier drugs. According to him, only those smoking marijuana in public should suffer legal consequences such as fines.
People of all ages, clad in green t-shirts depicting cannabis leaves, took part in the protest, among them were parents, children and elderly individuals. According to them, cannabis users are “people who would never hurt a fly.”
Several bereaved parents were present among the protestors as well. For example, Manana Davitashvili expressed her support for the rally because her son had been given a six year sentence for being caught smoking marijuana.
Beka Tsiskarishvili’s case was also mentioned numerous times by the protestors. Beka, an employee of a local NGO, was detained in June 2013 after being caught possessing 65 grams of cannabis, which could cost him seven to fourteen years in prison. His trial was met with an outrage and a campaign by local artists, actors and singers called “Beka is Not a Criminal”. Its participants published numerous videos, blog posts and posters that demanded the legalization of cannabis and Beka’s acquittal. Beka himself was released on a 10,000 GEL (5,600 USD) bail, but not before he spent some time in Gldani prison.
The rally in Tbilisi was accompanied by parallel rallies in Kutaisi, Batumi, Samtredia, Bolnisi and Baghdati. Georgians living in Germany, USA and Sweden also made their opinions known.
In response to the protest, Georgia’s Minister of Labour, Health and Social Affairs promised to work on the country’s drug laws, saying that they were too lax towards certain drugs and unusually strict towards others.
“The use and possession of cannabis will no longer be subject to inadequately strict criminal penalties. Alternatively, prescription drug dealing will be the subject of harsher measures,” - said David Sergeenko in his announcement of a new bill on drug policy.
“Drug policy consists of several branches. For example, the policy against simple drugs such as cannabis, drug addiction treatment & rehabilitation policy or the battle against prescription drug dealing. Regarding the lighter drugs, the government’s approach was inadequately harsh, while its liberal stance on drug prescription bordered on absurd. This unexplainable tightening of the laws on cannabis needs to be corrected and the policy needs to be reorganized as a whole. We strive to have a harmonized, logic-based approach to these issues,” - stated the Minister, adding that the draft version of government’s new drug policy act will be introduced within a month.
Vice-Prime Minister Kakha Kaladze also contributed, saying that he deems a prison sentence of seven to eight years for smoking marijuana “completely unacceptable.”
“I think that all young people should live a healthy life. But seeing a person sentenced to seven or eight years in prison for smoking marijuana is completely unacceptable for me,” – said Kaladze.
This is not the first time Georgian citizens speak out against the country’s drug policy. The first pro-cannabis protest, dubbed “2.06” by the participants, occurred in 2013 in front of the old Parliament building on Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi.


Print
Other Stories
Emily Blunt arrives at Jimmy Kimmel live show in David Koma one-shoulder jumpsuit
Emily Blunt arrived at Jimmy Kimmel live show in David Koma one-shoulder black jumpsuit on the 15th of November.
Georgian celebrities and their ex-lovers
Celebrity couples’ relationships not always last forever.
"Andro" by Tornike Gogrichiani wins Grand Prix
Georgian film “Andro” by the Georgian actor and director Tornike Gogrichiani has recently taken the Grand Prix at Troyes Festival du Court Métrage in France.
Bera’s wedding clip for newlyweds
Bera Ivanishvili posted a video featuring his wedding.
Georgian genius working for Google in London
Lots of people dream to work in Google. Among them was 23 years old Georgian Tornike Mandzulashvili.
Extraordinary gift to Bera Ivanishvili and Nanuka Gudavadze by the Nigerian artist
Nigerian artist Ayogu Kingsley has prepared an extraordinary gift for Bera Ivanishvili and Nanuka Gudavadze to congratulate them with their wedding.
Beautiful photo session of Bera Ivanishvili and Nanuka Gudavadze
Georgian rapper Bera Ivanishvili and Nanuka Gudavadze got married on the 11th of November.
A girl from Georgia doing military service in Israel
The number of female soldiers in the Israeli army is increasing every day.
Nino Gvelesiani - runner-up in Miss Planet 2018
Nino Gvelesiani was chosen as a runner-up to Miss Planet 2018.
Georgians in Israel about the recent conflict between Israeli forces and Hamas
On the 11st of November, Israel and Gaza clashes have begun.
“It was like a way to hell!” – Georgian student about California wildfires
Up to 50 dead, thousands evacuated, 130,000 acres burnt and 9,000 firefighters mobilized
Tako Natsvlishvili for Grazia Italy Nov18
A 20-year-old Georgian model Tako Natsvlishvili has recently been photo shot by Grazia Italy.
Who is Neka Dorokashvili, the wife of Nikoloz Basilashvili?
Nikoloz Basilashvili is the first player from Georgia to gain an ATP World Tour title by winning the German Tennis Championships 2018.
Maka Chichua and Giorgi Margvelashvili at the World War I centenary
World War I centenary was marked in Paris last weekend. More than 60 world leaders attended the event and among them was Georgian delegation.
Bera Ivanishvili and Nanuka Gudavadze got married
Georgian rapper Bera Ivanishvili and Nanuka Gudavadze got married on the 11th of November.
Georgian singer Nini Shermadini wins Mrs. Planet 2018
Famous Georgian singer Nini Shermadini became a winner of Mrs. Planet 2018. The pageant took place in Bulgaria.
Unbelievable survival of the Georgian man, fallen from the 15th floor
On the 30th of October, a 25-year old man fell 15 storeys from a block of flats on Tsereteli St., Tbilisi and lived.
Bridges and Gardens to be renovated in Georgia
The government of Georgia has planned to renovate the Saarbruecken and Dry Bridges and the Gardens of the Mother Tongue and the 9th of March.
Guram Kashia joins an anti-bullying campaign in Georgia
Georgian football player, the vice-captain of the Georgian national football team Guram Kashia joined the anti-bullying campaign “The strong do not bully”.
New Book by Demna Gvasalia -  Balenciaga: Winter 18
Demna Gvasalia, a well-known Georgian designer, announced that he releases a new book.
New standard of marriage registration to be launched in Georgia
The Ministry of Justice of Georgia implemented a new standard of marriage registration.
Kesaria Abramidze reaches the semi-final at Miss Trans Star International
Georgian model and actress Kesaria Abramidze participated in the Miss Trans Star International contest.
Painting of Niko Pirosmani to be sold at Sotheby’s
On the 27th of November painting by the prominent Georgian artist Niko Pirosmani (1862–1918) will be sold at Sotheby’s auction.
Three biggest animals in Tbilisi Zoo – Grand, Bacho and Begi
This week was very important for the Tbilisi Zoo staff – Grand elephant was operated and its tusk was removed by the South African doctors.
Georgian designers who participate in TBFW 2018
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2018 kicks off tomorrow, on the 1st of November and will last for 5 days, until the 5th of November.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
21.11.2018
22.11.2018
USD
1
USD
2.6741
2.6741
EUR
1
EUR
3.0581
3.0581
GBP
1
GBP
3.4421
3.4421
RUB
100
RUB
4.0707
4.0707
Other Stories
World famous British singer Jessie J has decided to wear clothes made by Anouki Areshidze, Georgian designer and wife of the mayor of Tbilisi.
Bassiani, one of the most popular underground clubs not only in Georgia but throughout Europe as well, has opened today
An amazing video made in Georgia by tourists from the Philippines have gone viral on the internet.
Over the recent two days May 12-13 Tbilisi city saw a peaceful protest rally in the center of the city.
Hundreds of people took to the main street Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi to protest the raid in Tbilisi’s popular night clubs.
Two bear cubs listed as endangered on the red list were handed over to Tbilisi Zoo,
Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze and Deputy Tbilisi Mayor Ms. Sophio Khuntsaria have gifted a food stand
Pamela Anderson, famous Canadian American actress and model has appeared in the chic sunglasses by internationally acclaimed Georgian designer George Keburia.
A ski lift accident in Georgia’s eastern Gudauri resort,in particular at Sadzele 5 lift, has left 8 people with injuries.
The ski lift in Gudauri winter resort in Georgia has broke down in the aftermath of which several people have been injured.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6741
EUR
1
EUR
3.0581
GBP
1
GBP
3.4421
RUB
100
RUB
4.0707