The country of Georgia has made it legal to consume marijuana, though it is still illegal to cultivate or sell. Georgia is now officially the first former-Soviet Union nation to lift such a ban, according to a report from Newsweek. The change came down from a decision from the country’s constitutional court, which determined punishment for consuming marijuana is only applicable if a third party is at risk. By revoking the right of officials to punish individuals for consumption of marijuana, the court in essence made it legal.
The court did not appear to take a stance one way or another as to whether marijuana was dangerous or not. At the heart of the ruling, in fact, is the idea that it is not up to the law to punish people who are not hurting others. If the only person potentially experiencing harm by the use of cannabis is the user, then the government has no business interfering. The court deemed this to be a restriction of individual freedom. While this ruling still implies that there is harm that one could do to oneself by using marijuana, it does get to the heart of one of the many arguments in favor of legalization: Shouldn’t people be able to make personal decisions so long as they are not harming others?