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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.


Civic education

Educating people about psychoactive substances and evidence-based approach to drug policy


Advocating for abolition of criminal prosecution for possession and trafficking of controlled substances in small amounts


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


  • 25
    Facing authoritarianism 04/2018

    Stas Šašok fined €250 for the photographing near Parliament

    Stas Šašok was fined 250 EUR for the action with letters of the word "decriminalisation" in front of the Parliament building in Minsk on 2 April. This is the 4th fine, making the price for 1-minute photographing equal to 2 days in prison and 900 EUR fine for 4 activists.
  • 20
    Expressing international solidarity 04/2018

    Do you want to live like we do? Legalize Belarus went to Vilnius

    On 4/20 a group of Legalize Belarus activists went to Vilnius to take part in a manifestation dedicated to cannabis and drug policy in Lithiania, which, along with the Belarusian, remains one of the most harsh in Europe. They were hanging a banner, showing that strict drug regulation is a way to rigid authoritarianism in other aspects on life.
  • 04
    Facing authoritarianism 04/2018

    Piotr Markiełaŭ and Viačasłaŭ Kasinieraŭ fined €250 each

    After 24 hours of arrest, activists were fined for participation in an "unauthorised rally" on 2 April.
  • 03
    Facing authoritarianism 04/2018

    Arrests of activists

    On 3 April Aleś Tałstyka, Piotr Markiełaŭ and Viačasłaŭ Kasinieraŭ were arrested. All of them were stalked by the special police forces (Special militia detachment “AMAP”) in civilian clothes that were holding external surveillance near activists’ homes. In the evening Aleś Tałstyka was fined 150 EUR and released. Piotr and Viačasłaŭ were placed in jail.
  • 02
    On the streets 04/2018

    Street picket for decriminalisation

    On 2 April 2018, timed to coincide with the beginning of the spring Parliament session, at 16:20 14 Legalize Belarus activists went to the building of the Parliament holding letters of the word “decriminalisation”. The whole action lasted about 1 minute. No one were detained on that day.
  • 29
    Raising awareness 03/2018

    Talking Drugs: Thousands Languish in Prison for Cannabis Possession in Belarus

    Belarus is a small Eastern European country blessed with a rich cultural heritage and a scenic landscape, but its people are subject to some of the most repressive drug policies on the continent. The country is ruled by President Alexander Lukashenko, the only president the country has ever had, who is known among critics as "Europe's last dictator". Lukashenko’s iron first approach towards drug offences has been criticised by human rights advocates for perpetuating the persecution, incarceration, and humiliation of thousands of people. Read more on TalkingDrugs.org.
  • 26
    Fighting stigma 03/2018

    Training on hate speech towards drug users for journalists

    Joining the week of education activities on racism, discrimination and hate, Legalize Belarus organised a 2-hour training in Minsk for journalists about hate speech towards drug users. Piotr Markiełaŭ explained how oversimplifying leads to violence and gave participants basic information about psychoactive substances and substance use disorders. The training was organised with support of Students For Liberty and Press Club Belarus.
  • 15
    Presenting ourselves 03/2018

    7 motivators on how to live without hurting others

    Activists of education and advocacy civic campaign Legalize Belarus shared personal motivators they are driven by. Get inspired!
  • 14
    Raising awareness 03/2018

    Michael Dorman on cannabis reform in Belarus

    As part of instilling a fear of cannabis into the minds of Belarusian children, the government occasionally holds trials of accused (though soon to be convicted) cannabis users in public locations such as schools. In the Fall of 2017, a 30-year-old woman charged with ‘storing hash’, was sentenced to three years of ‘restricted freedom’. The trail was held in the classroom of a school in Minsk while students watched. Read the full article of Michael Dorman on cannabis reform in Belarus.
  • 27
    Feedback from the top 02/2018

    Ministry of Internal Affairs: the lightest drug crimes can be decriminalised

    "You need to understand that drug policy in Belarus today is perfect. Statistics shows that the threshold built is correct. But this year, I think, some changes towards decriminalisation will come", — Andrej Saładoŭnikaŭ from the Drug Control Department says.


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

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

Pastor. Lawyer

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


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