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WHY LEGALIZE BELARUS

Legalize Belarus

Today more than 15000 Belarusians are imprisoned for drug-related crimes. Most of these people are young drug users caught with 1-2 g of marijuana smoking with their friends. They are being deprived of their liberty for 5-8 years. In terrible condition prisons they are humiliated by staff and other convicts and forced to physical unpaid labour for the state.

The law does not differentiate penalties for possession of drugs by amount or type of the substance. Moreover, possession of 5 g of marijuana can already be considered as “intention to distribute” and judged accordingly. While major drug dealers and state officials taking part in distribution remain at large, consumers and minor street distributors are imprisoned on inadequate terms.

The policy of prohibition has led to widespread use of highly potent and extremely dangerous synthetic cannabinoids, also known as “spices” or “K2”. Neither medical nor industrial use of marijuana is in any way legalized in Belarus.

OUR GOALS

Civic education

Educating people about responsible drug use and giving scientific information about harm from drug abuse

Advocacy

Advocating for implementation of differentiation of penalties for drug-related crimes in the legislation

Support

Legally and psychologically supporting people subjected to criminal prosecution, drug convicts and their relatives

WHAT WE DO

  • 18
    Facing authoritarianism 01/2018

    Trial on Piotr Markiełaŭ

    It is impossible to organise a picket or a rally in Belarus legally, as Belarusian authoritarian government never allows protests. We decided to use this tradition as a cause to show up on the streets as it would be absurd to punish us for this. However, in 2 weeks Piotr Markiełaŭ got a subpoena. During the trial the judge asked Piotr if he admits guilt and he said “no”. Then after a short break the case was sent back to the police department without any hearings because of multiple discrepancies in the case materials.
  • 11
    Raising awareness 01/2018

    Ksienija Tarasievič on the War on Drugs

    Ksienija Tarasievič wrote a big article about the War on Drugs in Belarus for rfrm.io (in Belarusian). Short version of the text is published on FreedomToday Journal (in English).
  • 11
    Going nationwide 01/2018

    End the Drug War Bieraście

    Legalize Belarus landed in Bieraście! We never had such a deep and meaningful discussion. Artists, entrepreneurs, journalists, school teachers, doctors and students spoke out. Everyone expressed oneself and brought to the conversation.
  • 25
    On the streets 12/2017

    Hemp Kaliada in Minsk

    Kaliada is an old Belarusian tradition when people dress up in magical creatures and go through the village singing songs. During the event in Minsk participants played board games, exchanged Christmas gifts, tasted food made of cannabis (without psychoactive substances). People were signing the petition for legislation reform and sending postcards to drug convicts. We made several "hemp stars", referring to traditional Kaliada stars. We rewrote a traditional Christmas song to fit the concept of Cannabis Christmas and went out on the streets singing. Though unconventional, it was the first Belarusian parade for legalisation.
  • 21
    Going nationwide 12/2017

    End the Drug War Mahiloŭ

    Another "End the Drug War" meeting was held in Mahiloŭ, third-large Belarusian city. One day before the event, the venue cancelled the booking because of "negative attitude towards drugs". Though another place to organise the discussion was found, it affected the number of participants. Most of people that took part in ETDW Mahiloŭ were parents of drug convicts. They shared their stories of injustice towards their children and together with other participants discussed how the situation can be fixed.
  • 16
    Going nationwide 12/2017

    End the Drug War Harodnia

    Legalize Belarus landed in Harodnia with a lecture on the war on drugs, "How drugs work. Cannabis" movie screening and a discussion afterwards. The leader of the drug convicts mothers movement "Mothers 328" attended the event and together with other activists shared terrifying facts of injustice towards the imprisoned.
  • 19
    Going nationwide 11/2017

    Talaka of Solidarity in Bieraście

    Talaka of solidarity with drug convicts was organised in Bieraście. "We do this because we want to show those who got unfairly harsh penalties that they are not alone, that there is solidarity with them and we are waiting for them home", — activists say.
  • 16
    Going nationwide 11/2017

    The Culture High movie screening and discussion in Homiel

    Legalize Belarus is going nationwide! The team landed in Homiel, second-large Belarusian city, with "The Culture High" movie screening and discussion about the war on drugs afterwards. More cities are to cover soon.
  • 24
    Calling for a change 10/2017

    Submitting 4679 e-signatures under the petition for legalization

    A petition to legalize marijuana in Belarus was launched on 5 July 2017. The petition expressed general ideas about benefits from legalization and did not include specific suggestions of edits in the legislation, unlike the Reform 328 statement. The petition is sent to the Parliament and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Look for the petition (in Russian).
  • 19
    Collecting signatures 10/2017

    Launching Reform 328 statement and signature collection

    The statement claims the need to abolish criminal prosecution for possession of small amounts of drugs and stop unfounded convictions for the "intent for distribution". Explore the statement (in Belarusian and Russian only).

OUR TEAM

One should not underestimate the social damage caused by the war on drugs started in the US. Belarus had not become the first democracy, education or industry in the region. Let us be the first in at least something. Piotr Markiełaŭ

Communications manager, Civic movement "Dzieja"

Every human is born free. Nobody can tell me what to use. I have the right for my body. Let me be responsible, no nanny needed for me! Stanisłaŭ Šašok

Musician. Lawyer, Human rights initiative "Human Constanta"

People are lacking objective information about drugs. This leads to irresponsible and uncontrolled use of dangerous substances. It can be prevented by open discussion and drug education. Ksienija Tarasievič

Journalist. National coordinator, Students For Liberty Belarus

If you know how to use psychedelics, it is a true treasure. They must not be illegal. Instead, we should spread the fair scientific knowledge about them. Michaś Varancoŭ

Software developer, Itransition

I do not call people to smoke marijuana. I call on being responsible. Life can be happy without drugs. Cannabis is used in medicine — that is why I’m against the prohibition. Maksim Kavaloŭ

Lawyer, Human rights initiative "Human Constanta"

Potential to use some psychoactive substances in therapy is incomparably high. We should not refuse this. Alina Nahornaja

Psychologist. Programme manager, Civic movement "Dzieja"

Governments around the world fight against drugs. But they even don’t know what is it. They firstly need to understand the nature of the phenomenon in order to control it. Jahor Viniacki

Content manager, Freelancer

CONTACT US

E-mail: info@legalize.by
Tel.: +375 296986855
Facebook: @LegalizeBelarus
Vk: @LegalizeBelarus
Telegram: @LegalizeBelarus

Please, contact us for any reason using one of the indicated methods.

We’ll try to give you a response as soon as possible.

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