New Political Center Girchi is demanding the legalization of the private consumption and cultivation of marijuana and other associated products. Girchi says that if no measures are taken in this direction, it will plant marijuana in its office on New Year’s Eve.
“If the government doesn’t comply, then Girchi members, together with any adult volunteers, will plant marijuana in our office on December 31, 2016 at 23:59 and will transmit a live broadcast of the event. We are aware that we will be violating the 265th article of the criminal codex, which carries a 6 - 12 year term of imprisonment. But this is one way of fighting for political liberty. They have not given us any other chance”, said party leader, Zurab Japaridze.
Zurab Japaridze launched the New Political Center-Girchi (pinecone) after he and three other lawmakers left the UNM party in May, 2015.
On August 5, three political parties, Civil Platform - New Georgia, New Political Center (NPC) Girchi, and the New Rights Party united to form a coalition for the 2016 parliamentary elections. Initially called Vashadze-Japaridze-New Choice the coalition changed its name to State For the People after making an offer to Paata Burchuladze.
On September 27, Girchi left the coalition State for the People, effectively disqualifying themselves from the 2016 parliamentary elections.
On October 26, New Political Center Girchi announced several changes in its administration, including a complete transition to electronic communication and an attempt to be as transparent as possible through their Facebook page and social media. NPC Girchi alleges that it refuses to be a traditional political party with closed offices and similar party structures.
Georgia’s narcopolitics has been continuously criticized by civil society groups. During police drug testings, it has been reported that citizens have been forced to take bladder control pills in cases where they refused to urinate. On June 17, 2015, Levan Abzianidze died after being forced to overdose on such substances when he refused to have his urine tested.
According to White Noise Movement, Georgian police test approximately 112 citizens every day for drugs through urine samples. Throughout the past seven years, 327,272 citizens have been tested and 33 tonnes of urine have been gathered. The government has spent roughly 17 million GEL on these tests.