Drug Policy in Georgia

Today drug-policy in Georgia is based on punitive methods. Among estimated ca. 50 000 Problem drug users (PDUs) 12000 have already been under administrative or criminal sanctions, while 5000 received some proffessional help.

The current document setting strategies and objectives in drug policy in Georgia is National Drug Strategy and Action Plan (2016)

LEGAL FRAMEWORK

Drug use per se is an offence under both administrative and criminal legislations of Georgia
Administrative sanctionsIllegal consumption of drugs for the first time during a year or possession of small amount of drugs without an intent to sell stipulates a fine of GEL 500 (ca. 150 EUR)
in exceptional cases, administrative detention up to 15 days under Article 45 of the Code of Administrative Offences (CAO) is being maintained
Criminal procedures are applied when the same act is committed again during the same year (article 273 Penal Code of Georgia).

AMERICA’S AID MAGAZINE:
First-time offenders who use a narcotic without a doctor’s prescription can face a fine of 500 lari (US$280). That’s nearly half of the average per-capita monthly income in Georgia. On the second offense within the same year, the fine is 2,000 lari, (US$1,125) or one year in jail.
In 2007, the latest year for which data is available, drug fines brought in 30 million lari ($16.9 million) to the government of Georgia, according to a report by the Beckley Foundation Drug Policy Programme, a United Kingdom-based research center.

Forced drug testing

is allowed – thousands of people are subject to administrative and criminal proceedings as a consequence of positive rapid immunoassay test results. The results of these rapid tests are used as one single source of evidence in court, leading to fines or imprisonment.

In 2006 The Law on Combating drug related crime was introduced, allowing policemen to stop people for drug testing, on streets, without any special reason. The positive outcome would impose severe financial fines, assets confiscations and deprivation of certain rights (among others, right to drive a vehicle, right to practice medicine, right to practice law, right to work at national and/or local governmental bodies, etc.) based on the court judgment for 3 years

In 2015, due to civil activities, tle law was eased back – http://drogriporter.hu/en/node/2760 :
The new regulation (Interior Ministry Ordinance №725)(…) only permits policemen to force people to undergo drug-testing if the following conditions are fulfilled: a) a law enforcement official has witnessed an illegal action (eg. drug use); b) there is enough reason to suggest a person is under the influence of drugs; c) police have obtained information, either through investigation or information received, that the person has illegally used drugs. – http://drogriporter.hu/en/node/2760

Untill 2014 health care providers were obliged to report cases of suspected drug overdose to the police. In 2014 MoLHSA removed this obligation.
In 2014 Law on “New Psychoactive Substances” was adopted

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