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 Los Angelas ,California

Cannabis Tavisupleba For Georgia Citizens 

August 1 , 2018 

By:Ashley Priest

The former member of the Soviet Union, Georgia's Constitutional Court, has made a ruling that legalizes cannabis consumption. This ruling was issued at 4:20 on July 30th, 2018. This doesn't mean that there are no punishments related to cannabis though. The decision clarifies that punishment is only allowed should a third party be put at risk from someone consuming cannabis. 

Georgia's Constitutional Court saw the continued draconian prohibition of cannabis as wrong. To the court, the plant can only potentially harm the user. By continuing to support cannabis prohibition, the court believes that it was restricting a citizen's freedom in Georgia.

Zurab Japaridze led the movement filing the suit with Georgia's court system. Previous rulings had allowed for punishment for repeated use of cannabis as well as having more than 70 grams of dried cannabis in your possession. Not everyone was excited about this ruling.

The chair of the health care committee in Georgia's Parliament Akaki Zoidze is one of them telling Newsweek, "I do not agree with the decision of the Constitutional Court. Marijuana consumption should be allowed only for medical purposes...our aim was not to make marijuana accessible for everyone but to reduce the number of drug addicts."

High Tensions

Could Georgia's move to legalize cannabis cause increased tensions between the former member of the Soviet Union? The country's anthem, Tavisupleba translates to freedom. Freedom is what the people now have regarding cannabis consumption in the country of Georgia. A liberty that Russian President Vladimir Putin may not support.

Russia has been a staunch opponent against cannabis legalization. Russia strongly disapproved against Canada's decision to legalize recreational marijuana. They even called it a breach of international legal obligations on Canada's behalf. 

Good Health and Wealth

Cannabis offers good health and wealth for those who embrace it. It's good for the people. It's good for the planet. It's good for the economy. Cannabis has only been demonized for just around a hundred years in most places. Before this, it was a widely utilized plant with many medicinal values.

Cannabis legalization will significantly impact the global economy. Global trade will be immense in the sector. Some current estimates have the global U.S. cannabis trade alone sitting at $150 billion. Canada, Spain, Mexico, the Netherlands, and soon the United States along with other countries will all be participating in one of the most lucrative markets in the world.

Cannabis comes in the form of industrial hemp and cannabis also commonly known as medicinal or recreational cannabis. Hemp is a form of cannabis currently being used to help treat the contaminated radioactive site of the nuclear accident in Chernobyl. Through phytoremediation, the hemp plant can help repair damaged lands. It can also help to replace non-renewable resources and bring an end to deforestation.

What Cannabis Legalization Means For Georgia

Back in December of 2016, Georgia’s Constitutional Court declared imprisonment for the purchase, cultivation, consumption, or possession of small amounts of marijuana to be unconstitutional. Cannabis legalization in Georgia doesn’t mean there are dispensaries everywhere. The framework for this has yet to be developed. 

Instead, the market is currently an open one in which as long as you are not bringing harm to a third party you are within the parameters of the law. Consumption of cannabis in educational facilities, around children, and in public spaces is still a punishable offense. Basically, consume responsibly.

In 2006 Georgia raked in $11+million in fines from cannabis. This is a number that can easily be topped by legalizing the plant. What’s next for the country of Georgia and cannabis? We’ll have to watch closely and wait to see what happens next. Most likely Georgia will enter into the multi-billion-dollar global cannabis trading sector in the coming years.

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