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Authorities Pledge Large-Scale ‘Anti-Drug Campaign’

Lawmakers from the ruling National Movement party have launched elaboration of a draft law envisaging confiscation of property from drug dealers, officials said on March 16.

President Saakashvili proposed to adopt this new law as part of a large-scale anti-drug campaign during his annual state of nation address to the Parliament on March 15.

“I offer you to adopt a law through which drug dealers will not only be jailed, but their property acquired through making our citizens unhappy will be fully confiscated,” Saakashvili told lawmakers.

In an interview with the Georgian Public Broadcaster on March 16, Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili said that drug addiction has reached alarming scales and has turned into one of the major problems in Georgia.

He said that unfortunately there is “high tolerance towards drug users” among the Georgian society and this attitude should be changed. But he also said that “this high tolerance is not expressed towards drug dealers.”

Merabishvili also said that unlike in neighboring countries, there are cases of drug addiction among employees of the Georgian state structures.

“For example in Armenia you can hardly find drug users among officials… By the way there are almost zero per cent drug users among our citizens of Armenian ethnicity in Akhalkalaki and Tsalka,” he said.

Merabishvili also noted that the Interior Ministry plans “to deprive drug addicts of certain rights” for example driving licenses. He also said that the Interior Ministry considers of sending list of drug addicts to the foreign embassies in Tbilisi and ask them not to issue entry visas to their respective countries if requested.

He also said that breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia represent “free zones of drug trafficking.”

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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