Russia decriminalizes drugs

Discussion in 'The Drug War Headline News' started by CheebaMonkey, May 14, 2004.

  1. CheebaMonkey CheebaMonkey

    • Sr. Member
    • Since: Dec 19, 2002
    • Posts: 5,759
    No More Jail Terms for Drug Possession
    Moscow Times | May 14, 2004

    Under a new law that came into effect this week, drug users can possess a greatly increased amount of an illegal substance -- for instance, 20 grams of marijuana or 1.5 grams of cocaine -- without the risk of being thrown in jail.

    The law has been criticized by the Federal Anti-Drug Service, which says it hampers the battle against drugs, but praised by those who work to rehabilitate drug addicts, who predict more addicts will now seek help.

    President Vladimir Putin signed an amendment to the Criminal Code in December stipulating that possession of no more than 10 times the amount of a "single dose" would now be considered an administrative infraction rather than a criminal offense. Punishment would be a fine of no more than 40,000 rubles ($1,380) or community service.

    It then took five months to hammer out what would be considered the single dose of various drugs.

    Ten times the amount of a single dose, as set in the government resolution that came into effect Wednesday, is 20 grams of marijuana, 5 grams of hashish, mescaline or opium, 1.5 grams of cocaine, 1 gram of heroin or methamphetamine, and 0.003 grams of LSD.

    Anyone caught in possession of these amounts or less cannot legally be detained, a spokeswoman for the Moscow branch of the Federal Anti-Drug Service said. Instead, a report will be filed and the fine will be determined by a court.

    This is a major change. Under the old standards, someone caught with 0.1 grams of marijuana, for instance, could be punished by incarceration.

    Foreigners, even those with deep pockets, should still take the new law seriously, however. Yelena Zhigayeva, a lawyer at the Moscow law firm Haarmann Hemmelrath & Partner, said that by law foreigners who violate Russian drug laws, even if it is only an administrative infraction, can be expelled from the country or denied re-entry.

    Alexander Mikhailov, deputy head of the Federal Anti-Drug Service, was indignant about the resolution.

    "The heroin dose is normal for a chronic drug user, but for a regular person it's nonetheless a dose of potassium cyanide," Mikhailov was quoted as saying in Kommersant on Thursday. "We were categorically against it, but the Justice Ministry simply went crazy chasing its European standards.

    "Now drug addicts have the right to run around with their pockets full of marijuana, and we can't even detain them."

    [CheebaMonkey: Yeah, that was the point. How about, oh, I dunno, detaining people who are actually harming others?]

    A spokesman for the Federal Anti-Drug Service was more diplomatic. "It's the law, and we are required to abide by it and enforce it," he said by telephone.

    The amounts for single doses were recommended by a group formed by the State Duma's Legislative Committee that included representatives from the Health, Justice and Interior ministries, the FSB and several NGOs.

    Lev Levinson, head of New Drug Policy, an advocacy group for drug law reform, was the coordinator of the group. "This is a brave, humane law," Levinson said. "Now that police will stop persecuting users, they can start focusing on real threats like large-scale drug trafficking."

    [CheebaMonkey: Gee, how could you get rid of those illicit drug traffickers?


    Vitaly Zhumagaliyev, head of the Moscow bureau of Harm Reduction, which works to rehabilitate drug addicts, said the new law will provide a boost to his organization's activities.

    [CheebaMonkey: Our old Cold War buddy Russia finally realized that their drug laws needed a fixin'.

    Why can't the U.S. do the same?]
  2. SevenLeafs SevenLeafs

    • New Member
    • Since: May 4, 2004
    • Posts: 708
    *Applauds Russia's government*

    Excelent initiative, plain and simple. I think this is a big step in the decriminalization of some drugs, and although it is not legalization (which is fine, for now) it does give an air of relief to those (to name a specific case) Russian marijuana users who wanted to form a part of the hard working society but found their intentions stopped by a law that only repressed them without any real logical reasons.

    The world is changing, and it is for the good.


    Right, the people who don't benefit from such laws will always ramble about stuff like this (off course, they are sure to have a hidden agenda, or maybe they're just too brainwashed to reconsider) and they don't realize that they ARE beneficiaries. Besides, who wants to do "battle" with anything these days?

    You see? it does have a very positive effect on the world, although it is not the only positive thing that will come from this.

    Cheers! :chokin:
  3. Higher Self Higher Self

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    That's one giant step for human kind...

    Sanity has been achieved. It won't take long to see the benefits of this large scale social experiment.

    With the changes that are occuring around the world and a lack of evidence that more tolarant social policy leads to the destruction of the social fabric as predicticted by the prohibitionist, IT WILL ONLY BE A MATTER OF TIME.

    Watch out Suetaz, here comes more ripples...

    It will be interesting to see how long the American government holds out maintaining it's fear based paradigm...

    Boo Hoo to law enforcement, who've garnered their own livelihoods at the expense of other human beings. Either go out and do something positive to society, like going after REAL bad apples, or learn to earn a living doing something else.

    I'm sure Custard thought he was doing the right thing too, until a bunch of indians fixed his wagon...

    Notice how the broadcasters of the major media outlets 'NEWS' are giving this story no energy... That's because they understand the power of TELL-A-VISION.

    Once the genie is out of the bottle, there will be no more stuffin the genie back in.
  4. Suetaz Suetaz

    • Seasoned Activist
    • Since: Jan 28, 2004
    • Posts: 2,158
    Originally posted by Higher Self:
    Bring 'em on!! :D Aim for the US, American's need all the help they can get. We could use some of those ripples here in Canada, but I hope the majority are aimed at the US.
    Many Russians have been living a pretty miserable existence, now that they can smoke weed without fear of serious legal consequences maybe they can live a little happier. Maybe the happiness will spread along with the ripples and the US will get the hang of it. Life doesn't have to be so miserable when you have a way to relax and de-stress. Marijuana is a wonderful way to do that and it should be available for everyone.

    I was thinking the same thing. I think it'll hold out as long as Bush is still in power, I can't see him backing down no matter what, he'd have to admit he was WRONG and he never does that, but after the election... guess we'll have to wait and see.
  5. SevenLeafs SevenLeafs

    • New Member
    • Since: May 4, 2004
    • Posts: 708
    Here's a thought, what if the majority of the DEA "enforcers" made a 180 degree turn and became objective scientists?

    Hmm.... think of the benefits (AND they would have a much better job)

    Cheers :chokin:

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