Hraparak daily newspaper published on October 10, as well as posted on the website of the newspaper a material entitled “Groovy home assignment from Svitalski”. The author of the article claims that one of the preconditions for visa liberalization between Armenia and the EU relates to legalization of marijuana sales.
Speaking about possible visa liberalization with Armenia last month head of the EU Delegation to Armenia Pyotr Svitalski urged Armenian authorities not to lose time and do the “homework” to prepare for visa liberalization with the union. Svitalski recalled the examples of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.
Two weeks after this announcement Hraparak daily “clarified” with a vocabulary characteristic to the newspaper that Svitalski allegedly meant also legalization of marijuana.
“It turns out that one of the “home assignments” is very “groovy”. One of the prerequisites for visa liberalization with the EU refers to the marijuana sale and use permit”, says the daily newspaper without giving details on where it becomes clear from and without specifying any sources.
Generally, Hraparak is usually distinguished by spreading news containing ungrounded and emphasized exaggerations, but this time it is noteworthy that this news article was republished and disseminated as a daily news release by tert.am, news.am, slaq.am, opertaiv.am, armday.am, shabat.am, armlur.am news agencies adding “very remarkable” titles and spreading misinformation in their turn.
Legalization of drug use cannot be a prerequisite for EU visa liberalization with any country. Whereas the sale and use of the same marijuana for non-medical purposes is still considered as illegal in most of the member states of the union.
As for the example of Georgia, to which Hraparak refers: in December last year Tbilisi considered the use of marijuana with certain restrictions as legal by the court. The use of marijuana in Georgia was legalized as a result of a long-term struggle and protests of local community, and the law should not be linked to the visa liberalization regime with the EU.
While in Ukraine, which is the last country to introduce visa liberalization with the EU, the use of drugs, marijuana is illegal and regulated by the Ukrainian Criminal Code. This fact, as can be seen, does not prevent Ukrainians from crossing EU borders without visa.
What is the relation of California Armenians and their businesses mentioned in Hraparak article to Svitalski and EU-Armenia visa liberalization regime is also uncle