Saeima committee rejects marijuana legalization initiative

The Saeima Mandate, Ethics and Submissions Committee has unanimously rejected the public initiative for decriminalizing marijuana. The cause had previously gathered 10,000 signatures on the petition portal Manabalss.lv, thus it qualified for being formally submitted as a parliamentary initiative.

A number of healthcare specialists and medicine experts convinced the committee to decide the way it did.

For example, Pēteris Apinis, President of the Latvian Doctors' Association, said that children would be among those who'd suffer the most if marijuana were legalized.

"In truth, the matter of our today's discussions is the very soul of [our] children. [..] Throughout the world, marijuana is one of the ways substance addiction enters children's lives," said Apinis.

Those who pushed the initiative were also heard out, in particular Donats Blaževičs directed the committee's attention to the numerous studies that showcase the potential uses of marijuana as medicine.

The decision of the committee will be put to voting in a Saeima session. 

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