1-Member Dastan Bekeshev reported on his Facebook that on June 29, at a meeting of the Committee on Law and Order, Fighting Crime and Countering Corruption in Parliament, he suggested that Kyrgyzstani citizens not be imprisoned for drug use.
In his opinion, the article on drug use should be decriminalised and drug users should not be punished under the article "Production and trafficking of drugs".
He stressed that he is not proposing their legalization, as the punishment for trafficking and manufacture of drugs will remain the same.
"It's not a joke, it needs to be decriminalized. It's not legalization, lest it be misunderstood. We don't give permission to sell. I know a lot of young people who used this plant when they were students, and now they even work in the prosecutor's office, some of them judges. I know, but I won't tell you their last names. If they had been caught back then, they would have ruined so many young lives and made them thugs," Bekeshev wrote.
Bekeshev suggests dividing drugs into light and heavy, because "in practice, an elderly grandmother is jailed for growing wild weed in her yard."
"It's not right to jail a 76-year-old woman who didn't plant the plant*. Especially in Issyk-Kul. You know, that's how God decided it should grow there," he said during the meeting.
2-*Marijuana is a psychoactive drug that is made from cannabis. It is considered one of the most common drugs in the world and is used as medicine in medicine. Today its use is legalized in a number of countries around the world.
Drug users, not drug dealers
Most of the prisoners in Kyrgyzstan are imprisoned under the article related to drug possession. More often than not, they are drug users, not drug dealers - and the trend has been growing for 10 years.
Human rights activists believe that there are so many drug-related convictions because such cases are the easiest to initiate and investigate, which also has a positive impact on crime detection rates.
A study by Kloop journalists confirms this - the majority of sentences are handed down by courts under the article "Illegal manufacture, purchase, storage, transportation or transfer of narcotic drugs without intent to sell. The share of convictions against drug users among all sentences is the highest - 14%. At the same time, those responsible for distribution are sentenced less frequently, with only 3.5% of such verdicts.
3-Marijuana and the Most Dangerous Drugs List
In 2020, the Drug Control Service of the Kyrgyz Ministry of Internal Affairs opposed the removal of marijuana and its derivatives from the list of the world's most dangerous drugs.
The UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs decided to move cannabis and cannabis resin (hashish) from the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs List to List I of the same name. Thus, cannabis was removed from the list of the most dangerous drugs in the world. Kyrgyzstan voted against it.
Inclusion in a specific list determines the control measures that member states must apply to the substances in question.
The UNSCN said Kyrgyzstan intends to be guided by Article 39 of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which gives the right to adopt stricter or stricter control measures than provided in that international treaty.
"The Kyrgyz Republic, among the 25 member states of the commission, voted against this decision, as any action aimed at weakening controls on cannabis and its products could have a negative impact on the drug situation in the Kyrgyz Republic, on whose territory grows more than ten thousand hectares of cannabis," the agency said.
On December 2, a session of the Commission on narcotic drugs, of which Kyrgyzstan is a member, was held in Vienna. The votes in the commission of 53 states were divided almost evenly: 27 countries, including the U.S. and EU countries, voted for removing marijuana from the list, 25, including Russia, voted against. Ukraine abstained.
Marijuana has been legalized or decriminalized in many countries around the world in the past few years. However, in countries near abroad, such as Kazakhstan and Russia, the law does not distinguish between cannabis and other drugs.
At the end of December 2020, MP Dastan Bekeshev spoke in favor of decriminalizing light drugs in Kyrgyzstan. In his opinion, this way there will be a little less corruption in the security forces.
"I think we will also come to this sooner or later, maybe in 10-20 years. But the question is that until we decriminalize, the police will make money illegally from those who use hashish: they catch one person and extort $200 from him. So why do it? I think we should decriminalize," said the deputy.