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  • Emily Drayton, Staff Writer

Georgia (the Country) Loosens the Reins on Cannabis

After decriminalizing cannabis a year ago, the Constitutional Court of Georgia (think Shevardnadze, not Atlanta) has ruled that "the use of cannabis is not a threat to society at large" and has approved its use "in private settings".

A lawsuit triggered the decision, brought by plaintiffs Zurab Japaridze and Vakhtang Megrelishvili, who contended that the use of cannabis is a personal decision that does not put others at risk.

Georgia has not opened the floodgates just yet. While the Constitutional Court agreed with the petitioners, "the consumption of marijuana is not an act of social threat,” the court said. “In particular, it can only harm the users’ health, making that user him/herself responsible for the outcome. The responsibility for such actions does not cause dangerous consequences for the public...”

..., the court also found that there are some situations where cannabis consumption can affect those in the proximity of the user. In those cases, administrative penalties for the use of cannabis do not violate the nation’s constitution and may continue to be imposed by the government.

“In addition, the Constitutional Court highlights the imposition of responsibility of marijuana consumption when it creates a threat to third parties.

"For instance, the Court will justify responsibility when marijuana is consumed in educational institutions, public places, such as on public transport, and in the presence of children,” the court continued.

Considering that Georgia (under Shevardnadze) once once behind the Iron Curtain, the progress in cannabis legalization is especially refreshing.

Image source: High Times

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