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Weed in Georgia: Cannabis Legal Status Guide

Author
ผู้เขียน Aleph One
10 April 2024
This article will help you navigate Georgia's complex cannabis laws.
10 April 2024
55 min read
Weed in Georgia: Cannabis Legal Status Guide

เนื้อหา:
อ่านเพิ่มเติม
  • 1. Private use is now legal in georgia
  • 1. a. Some restrictions apply
  • 2. Possession laws and penalties
  • 3. Cultivation for personal use
  • 3. a. Are cannabis seeds legal in georgia?
  • 4. Is cbd legal in georgia?
  • 5. A long fight for the reform
  • 6. In conclusion

As of now, Georgia is among a handful of countries in the world where cannabis use is legalized for both medicinal and recreational purposes. However, the decision to grant users the immunity from prosecution was made by the country’s Constitutional Court, and as it happens in such cases, the current legal situation is riddled with contradictions. Read our guide to better understand what is allowed in Georgia and what isn’t.

Private Use is Now Legal in Georgia

In a landmark decision on July 30, 2018, the Constitutional Court of Georgia decriminalized the use of marijuana, effectively abolishing administrative punishments associated with its consumption. This reform came about following a petition by Zurab Japaridze and Vakhtang Megrelishvili, who argued that marijuana use posed no significant social threat and was primarily a matter of personal health and responsibility.

The court agreed, stating that the role of an individual user in the circulation of marijuana was minimal, and therefore, the threats from individual consumption were similarly small. Consequently, the court deemed the punishment for marijuana use to be disproportionate. However, the court also outlined certain exceptions to this ruling, emphasizing that the use of marijuana could still be subject to penalties if it posed a threat to third parties.

 

Weed in Georgia: Cannabis Legal Status Guide: A mountain view

Georgia has gone from very strict to very progressive laws in a remarkably short time.

Some Restrictions Apply

If you’re visiting Georgia and want to exercise your legal right to consume cannabis, remember that you can only do this without disturbing anyone. Basically, it means that you should smoke in a private home (it shouldn’t be necessarily yours) and never in public places. Moreover, using marijuana in front of children is strictly prohibited. It’s even against the law to be under the influence of marijuana when around minors. By the way, although a person is considered an adult in Georgia when they are 18 years or older, smoking marijuana is only allowed for persons 21 years and older.

Another thing to remember is that you can’t smoke marijuana at your workplace. Being intoxicated and performing professional duties can be punished with a fine, and in professions of high responsibility, such as doctors, you can be fired or lose a license. Driving under the influence of marijuana is a criminal offense in Georgia and is punished more severely than drunk driving.

All this points to the fact that when considering the decision, the judges still considered marijuana use a harmful activity and their objective was harm reduction. If people want to ‘ruin’ their bodies with marijuana, the authorities decided not to interfere, but they take measures to contain the harm and not let it affect the society at large. In keeping with this principle, the penalties for advertising cannabis and its products were increased following the Constitutional Court’s decision.

 

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Possession Laws and Penalties

One of the major contradictions of the new set of laws is the lack of any legal means to obtain cannabis. Possession is still illegal, and any amount of cannabis found on your person and your property is contraband and must be confiscated. Unless you’re in the very process of using it. So, in an unlikely scenario when police enter your house and see you smoking a joint, they should have no legal objections, but if they have entered two minutes before, when the joint in question was still unlit, it automatically means possession and is a punishable offense.

 

Offense GEL USD EUR GBP
Use in private legal
Use in public 800-1200 296-444 272-409 233-349
Use by persons younger than 21 500-1500 185-555 170 145
Use in front of minors/Being intoxicated while around minors 1000-1500 370-555 340-510 290-435
Workplace use up to 1500 up to 555 up to 510 up to 435
Popularization/Advertising of drugs 1800-3700 666-1369 613-1260 524-1076
Possession of less than 5g 500 185 170 145

Some penalties for use/possession.
 

Possession laws haven’t changed recently in Georgia. If you buy, carry, or transport an insignificant amount (between 6 and 70 grams), you won’t be facing jail time. However, it will still be considered a crime. We couldn’t find any reliable information as to what the punishment could be.

More than 70 grams of dry cannabis (or more than 100 grams of raw cannabis) is a big amount, and people caught buying, possessing and transporting it face imprisonment.

Cultivation for Personal Use

Small-scale personal cultivation is widespread in Georgia, but people growing it are committing a crime. If the weight of the plant(s) that police find is more than 151 grams, you’ll probably end up in jail. If it’s less, there will be some alternative punishment, but again we couldn’t find any reliable info.

One shouldn’t also forget that once your plant is ready to be harvested, you shouldn’t harvest more than 70 grams of dry cannabis or else you’ll run afoul of the possession law.

On New Year's Eve of 2016, as a piece of political activism, Georgia’s pro-cannabis movement, Girchi Party (‘girchi’ meaning ‘bud’), planted 84 cannabis plants in their headquarters in the country’s capital. The police arriving on the scene confiscated the plants but pressed no charges.

Are Cannabis Seeds Legal in Georgia?

The legal status of cannabis seeds in Georgia remains unclear. There are many seed shops online that sell cannabis seeds to growers and enough brick-and-mortar grow shops to buy all necessary equipment.

Is CBD Legal in Georgia?

Although the cannabis plant, including its non-intoxicating variety, hemp, is still illegal in Georgia, products made from hemp are openly sold and they may include anything: from clothes to cosmetics to even CBD joints. Of course, such a joint will only contain some non-cannabis herbs amended with CBD. It’s easier to find hemp oil (CBD oil) online than in a regular shop.

 

Weed in Georgia: Cannabis Legal Status Guide: A grow shop

Liberalization of cannabis was a blessing for some local businesses.
 

 

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134 131,23 ฿
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A Long Fight for the Reform

The decriminalization of cannabis use in Georgia is a result of years of activism and advocacy by individuals and organizations fighting for the liberalization of cannabis laws. One of the most prominent groups is the Girchi Party we mentioned earlier, which has been instrumental in pushing for reform.

In addition to their high-profile cannabis growing protest in 2016, the Girchi Party has been actively campaigning for the legalization of cannabis cultivation and sale. They argue that legalization would not only benefit individual users but also provide economic opportunities for farmers and businesses.

In 2019, the party submitted a bill to parliament proposing the legalization of cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes. Although the bill was ultimately rejected, it sparked a national conversation about the potential benefits of legalization and galvanized support for further reform.

Despite the challenges, activists remain committed to their cause and continue to push for change. They believe that the current legal situation is contradictory and unfair, and that the decriminalization of cannabis use is only the first step towards a more progressive and just drug policy.

In Conclusion

Georgia's approach to cannabis legalization is a complex and evolving issue. While private use is now allowed, possession, cultivation, and sale remain against the law, creating a confusing legal landscape for users and law enforcement alike. It remains to be seen how Georgia's cannabis laws will develop in the coming years now that the country has taken the tentative first steps on the way to reform, but for visitors to the country, it's important to remember that it's not a safe heaven for enthusiats of the plant just yet.