Catholic Church Supports Patriarch’s Position over Marijuana Cultivation

The Apostolic Administration of the Latin Catholics of the Caucasus issued a statement on September 17 expressing full support to Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II's position on the marijuana cultivation-realization draft law, initiated earlier by the government.

The Georgian Patriarch said in his Sunday sermon that the authorities should realize the threats and consequences of legalizing marijuana cultivation for export purposes.

"We must remember that this is dangerous because drug addicts from other countries will come here and enjoy this freedom. This will promote the spread of drug abuse in Georgia,” Ilia II stressed.

The Apostolic Administration of the Latin Catholics of the Caucasus reiterated the same position.

“Our Church shares the position of Ilia II…Also, we support what Pope Francis repeated several times: no to any kind of drugs! Simple and direct! Drugs are evil and it is impossible to compromise with them,” the statement reads.

The Catholic Church says that “there are no mild drugs as they have a negative impact on the human psyche and deprive freedom. Scientists also say this.”

The statement says the government should direct their efforts towards elimination of drug-addiction in the country.

“Our Apostolic Church administration joins all those who stand for the guardianship of kindness and dignity,” the statement, signed by Giuseppe Pasotto, Caucasus Apostolic Administration of Latin Rite Catholics, reads.

Last week, the government announced that they plan to legalize marijuana cultivation only for export purposes for pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.

The draft was prepared and presented to the cabinet members by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA). According to the draft, marijuana production will be announced as a licensed activity.

Presumably, the licensing conditions will define the geographical area, quantity and other issues related to marijuana production in Georgia.

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Giorgi Gakharia, stated a special agency would be set up for licensing marijuana cultivation.

After the Church voiced its position, Georgia’s Parliament Speaker, Irakli Kobakhidze, announced that discussions over the issue in the legislative body have been delayed, in order to launch consultations.

By Thea Morrison

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18 September 2018 10:00