The Committee considered with the I reading the package by Akaki Zoidze, Dimitri Tskitishvili, Levan koberidze, Irine Pruidze and Sophio Katsarava consisting of 10 drafts:
The Chair, A. Zoidze spoke about main principles of the package.
The package has been developed on the basis of consultations with the experts, parties concerned but the attitude is still dissent based on legitimate fear of the risks of encouragement of drug-use after annulment of custody. “We believe that this is the proper steps made to reduction of drug-addition”, - he stated.
All the aspects are directed to development of the balanced drug policy envisaging combating drug dealing and ensuring rehabilitation of the drug users. The state shall do its best to prevent drug use and establish healthy lifestyle prior to decriminalization. “At that, it needs decriminalization instead of legalization. Our position implies strict combating drug dealers – zero tolerance to drug dealing”, - he stated.
Often, decriminalization is perceived as legalization. As underlined, he is against legalization and hoped that substitution of custody with alternative means will neutralize threat as repressive drug policy focused on persecution failed. “The only solution based on experience of other countries is to establish healthy lifestyle to facilitate to decriminalization. We never contributed a single Lari in prevention, real education and propaganda that shall start in the kindergartens and schools. People shall make deliberate choice to keep healthy lifestyle and realize own values. This is our direction”.
A. Zoidze stated that the penalty for drug-store crime will be stricter and drug dealing, transit, illicit circulation, drug use in front of minors etc. shall be subject to criminal penalty without remissions. The sitting was attended by the clergymen, non-Parliamentary opposition, former MPs – Jondi Bagaturia and Dimitri Lortkipanidze, NGOs etc.
Everyone shared the principle that the drug user shall not be detained but rehabilitated. “Humanism towards the users and strict regulations towards the dealers shall be balanced. We support this principle. For 18 years I fight in Hepatitis C and AIDs terms and similar steps shall be made in drug policy. Otherwise, we will throw every efforts we have made away. Hence, the next logical step is to humanize drug policy. It needs wide considerations to make the decisions scientifically substantiated for the future of our country”, - the Chair of the Education, Science and Culture Committee, Mariam Jashi stated.
The clergymen introduced the appeal of the Catholic-Patriarch not to adopt the package with accelerated manner but to ensure detailed reconciliation and discussion. The Committee supported the package to be considered at the spring session.