Republic of Georgia Decriminalizes Marijuana Use

Republic of Georgia Decriminalizes Marijuana Use


Georgia has decriminalized marijuana use, but it’s probably not the Georgia that you were expecting. On Nov. 30, 2017, the Constitutional Court for the Republic of Georgia, a former Soviet republic, ruled that it is unconstitutional to prosecute individuals for using marijuana, effectively decriminalizing use of the substance and potentially paving the way for full legalization.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by Giorgi Shanidze and backed by the political opposition party Girchi. According to, the crux of Shanidze’s lawsuit centered on Article 16 of the Georgian Constitution, which states: “Everyone has the right to free development of his/her personality.”

Shanidze argued that laws against marijuana consumption violated Article 16 and the court agreed, noting that every person has the right to choose house they relax.

This is the second court victory this year for marijuana supporters in the Republic of Georgia. Earlier in the year, the Constitutional Court struck down the criminal penalties for cultivating marijuana for personal use.

“Cannabis consumption has been decriminalized today,” said Iago Khvichia, a lawyer for Girchi, as quoted by OC Media. “It will soon be decided whether [consumption] will be legalized.”

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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