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TalkingDrugs Updates from Eastern Europe & Central Asia [October 2019]

1. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin called on lawmakers to toughen already harsh anti-narcotics legislation. He proposed to impose jail sentences on those found guilty of “drugs propaganda” online, Independent reports (Eng).


2. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan stated it is against marijuana legalization, because “legalization leads to dependency on stronger drugs”, Zakon.kz reports (Rus).


3. On November 1 in Moscow an exhibition “Two first letters of mother’s name” opened, presenting the work of artist Dima Grin, who is an outreach worker at the Andrey Rylkov Foundation. The exhibition is dedicated to low-threshold street services for people who use drugs. Read more here.


4. On October 21st a public hearing was held in Moscow on the reform of the criminal drug laws, in particular Articles 228, 228.1 of the Criminal Code. The hearing was organized by the Moscow Helsinki Group (Eng).


5.  Legalize Belarus civic movement and “Youth Bloc” candidate’s union held a mock street march “Hemp grand fathers”, dedicated to “everyone who died of using cannabis”, Euroradio reports (Rus). The action was held in support of drug policy decriminalization in Belarus. 


6. In Ukraine a public discussion on the need to legalize medical marijuana is ongoing. On October 26 in Kyiv a street rally “March of Freedom” was held demanding decriminalization of cannabis users and calling for adoption of the law on circulation of cannabis for medical and  scientific purposes. “Focus” explains the details of the draft law and activists’ demands in more detail (Rus).  


7. A video on the results of the research conducted by EHRA in 2019 examines the cost of criminalization. Available here (Rus). Talking Drugs wrote about this research in detail here (Eng). 


8. Watch the documentary “Georgia: Women in prison” produced by DUNews studio under the ENPUD’s project on health and rights of people in prisons. Video available here (Rus). 


9.  The October information digest of the ENPUD about the network’s recent activities is available here (Rus). 

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