By Phillip Smith
The government of the former Soviet republic of Georgia is considering legalizing marijuana, the country's Labor, Health, and Social Affairs minister said Friday.
"As far as drugs are concerned, ban-related mechanisms very often entail a ricochet effect, which means strengthening and development of other directions and etc.," David Sergeyenko told the local Novosti-Georgia news agency. Dealing with drugs requires "a well-considered strategy" and "the legalization of marijuana could be a part of it," he said.
But don't start torching up in Tbilisi just yet, Segeyenko said.
"The fact that we are now discussing this issue does not mean that we will wake up one day and see marijuana at supermarkets. Of course, it will not happen this way," he said, leaving unclear just exactly what he did envision.
Under current Georgian law, people convicted of illegal drug possession face up to a year in jail, a fine, or community service.
This isn't the first time there has been legalization talk in Georgia. In 2005, the head of the Georgian Council for Drug Policy, Tamara Sirbiladze, called for marijuana legalization, saying it could "reduce the number of drug-related crimes."