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Drug Policy in Georgia - Trends in 2021



The purpose of this report is to review the changes to the drug policy carried out in Georgia in 2021, identify existing challenges and assess the legal status of persons accused and convicted of drug-related crimes.

During 2021, like in previous year, there were no major changes to the legislation on drug-related offenses, or there were no fundamentally different approaches introduced. The topic, in a broad political context, has lost its relevance and is not a priority topic for either the executive or the legislative bodies. Several fragmentary legislative changes were made in the reporting year that have not substantially changed the state’s pattern of behavior towards drug-related crime and drug policy issues. The state still does not show readiness for a fundamental transformation of drug policy, which is indicated by inconsistent changes in the legislation, which, on the one hand, slightly improves the state’s approach to drug users1, and on the other hand, substantially aggravates the already severe penalties for specific drug-related crimes2.

In the reporting year, the efforts of the state to make the drug policy more humane has not succedded, however, this issue has become the focus of public discussion several times, in 2021. The period of the 2021 local self-government elections was problematic, when during the campaign period, the ruling party raised the issue of possible drug use by a rival politician and demanded for him to publish the results of his drug testing results. This is not an isolated case. The stigma of possible use of drugs has repeatedly become a tool of political struggle in the past; however, bringing this issue to the forefront in the pre-election context and thus campaigning against opponents further increases stigma towards drug users and leads to public exclusion of drug users.

The report summarizes 2021 drug policy trends, analyzes challenges based on legislation and relevant academic sources, and presents the recommendations of the Social Justice Center to state agencies.

The report is fully available in the attached file.


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