Blunt move: Georgia’s presidential hopeful hands out ‘marijuana joints,’ gets detained (VIDEO)
The event was held by the opposition Girchi (Georgian for ‘cone’) party in one of Tbilisi’s parks on Saturday. The event was not greenlighted by the authorities, and police prevented organizers from actually holding any “festival.” Instead, an unauthorized meeting of several hundreds of party supporters and dozens of reporters took place.
The leader of the Girchi party, presidential candidate Zurab Japaridze is a strong advocate of marijuana legalization, and of Georgia’s membership in NATO and the EU. While much needs to be done on the latter issues, Japaridze managed to win a case with the country’s Constitutional Court this summer, which completely decriminalized personal usage of the weed.
Despite the joint efforts of the party, distribution and growing of marijuana remain illegal.
The Georgian Interior Ministry vowed to prevent any distribution of marijuana during the “festival,” launching an investigation into procurement and distribution of drugs before the event. Japaridze, in his turn, vowed to perform an “act of defiance” at the gathering and “de-facto legalize cultivation and distribution of marijuana in this country.” In an impressive move for a politician, Japaridze seems to have truly kept his word.
“What I’m doing now – is a deed, which is punishable in this country. In this country, we must have a legal way to procure marijuana, since the Constitutional Court said that’s my right. But I’m deprived of this right,” Japaridze told his supporters at the gathering. “I have a joint in my pocket, and I’ll give it out right now. It’s distribution of drugs, we’ll see what the police do.”
With that, the politician produced three suspicious-looking rolls and gave them to the willing. It remained unclear, what exactly Japaridze expected from the law enforcement, who promptly detained him. Whether the blunts truly contained any prohibited substances hasn’t been revealed yet.
As the politician was taken away by law enforcement, his supporters chanted “Japaridze for president!”
A number of Girchi supporters were also detained following a brief scuffle with the police. Costumed people spotted among the festival-goers have seemingly stirred particular suspicion among the police, who detained some of them.
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