Georgian Parliamentarian promises Patriarch Ilia to drop bill on marijuana cultivation

Tbilisi, November 2, 2018

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The bill on the cultivation of marijuana in Georgia will be withdrawn, Parliament Chairman Irakli Kobakhidze said after a meeting with His Holiness Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II.

“The main issued discussed with the Patriarch was the issue of the draft law on the cultivation of marijuana. We discussed this issue earlier in our team and decided to withdraw it from Parliament. We have repeatedly said we will not consider this legislation without broad discussion and the achievement of consensus with society and the Church, and we have kept this promise,” Kobakhidze told reports on Friday, reports Interfax-Azerbaijan.

Consideration of the bill on the cultivation of marijuana for medical and cosmetic purposes was suspended in Parliament after sharp protest from the hierarchs of the Georgian Church and public representatives.

Marijuana was legalized in July by the Constitutional Court of Georgia, despite the Church’s protest, after which Parliament began to talk of actively cultivating the drug in the country. The Georgian Parliament then postponed its consideration of the bill on the rules for the cultivation of marijuana in mid-September, thanks to the opposing voice of the Church.

One of the authors of the bill, the Chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream Party, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, told reporters that the cultivation of marijuana for medical and cosmetic purposes would bring billions of dollars to Georgia, but stressed that the decision would not be made without the consent of the Church and society.

Pat. Ilia has spoken out strongly against the use and sale of marijuana. In a homily on August 5, he pleaded: “Protect our homeland! Protect our children! We must remember that any drug use is already the beginning of a fall. Again, I appeal to you with the plea: Don’t let our children perish. Do not allow this lawlessness.”

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