KHRAMOV'S CASE ABOUT "PROPAGANDA OF MARIJUANA": THE SESSION OF THE COURT WILL BE HELD ON THURSDAY, AUGUST 19. KHRAMOV: "I AM INTERESTED TO BE RECOGNIZED GUILTY BY THE COURT"


Moscow, August 18, 2004. The examination of the twice postponed case about an administrative offence according to the article 6.13 of the Administrative Code ("propaganda of narcotics, psychotropic substances or their precursors") in respect of the secretary of the movement "Russian Radicals" Nikolaj Khramov will be held on Thursday, August 19, at 14.00, in the Basmanny district court of the city of Moscow (Kalanchyovskaya street 11), court room No. 13. The case will be examined by the justice of the peace Valentina Savushkina (judicial area No. 359 of Basmanny district). The lawyer Boris Sevastyanov from the Moscow Bar "Binetsky and partners" will act as the defence counsel.

On August 12, Nikolaj Khramov provoked his detention and institution of administrative proceedings in his respect. He distributed near the building of the State Committee for Drug Control (SCDC) on Maroseyka street the leaflets with the text of the petition for legalization of marijuana about which he preliminary had notified the SCDC with a special statement. The purpose of this nonviolent action is to obtain in the court a legal estimation of the fact that the political propaganda in favor of the reform of state policies in the field of drugs is not propaganda of these drugs, in the opposite case - to get an opportunity to address to the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation with the request about conformity with the Constitution of the article 46 of the Federal law "About narcotics and psychotropic substances" which forbids "propaganda of drugs" and contains a definition of what should be considered such propaganda.

The previous attempt of Radicals to challenge in the Constitutional Court the provisions of the law on drugs dates back to 1998 when soon after the adoption of the law the Radicals collected under the request to the Constitutional Court 96 signatures of deputies of the State Duma while a necessary minimum is 90 signatures (the first signature is of Valery Borshchev) and submitted the request to the Constitutional Court, but in the result of a "counter-operation" which was carried out under the direction of the chairman of the Duma committee on health protection Nikolay Gerasimenko, a part of the deputies from pro-governmental factions who had signed the request, withdrew their signatures.


Statement by Nikolaj Khramov:

"Though it is absolutely clear that the political appeals to legalization of those or other prohibited drugs in no way are propaganda of these substances, I nevertheless am more interested that the Basmanny court recognize me tomorrow guilty of "propaganda of drugs" - because in that case we at last will have an opportunity to complete what we failed to achieve six years ago: to address to the Constitutional Court with the request about conformity with the Constitution of the article 46 of the law on drugs which actually forbids distribution of any objective information on drugs. Theoretically, according to this norm even distribution of the information that marijuana is less harmful than heroin or tobacco or that marijuana has an extensive field of use in medicine for treatment of patients, can be considered as illegal activities. One can only guess who profits from this norm which tries to put outside of the law any reasonable debate in the society on the problem of drugs: only those in whose hands the prohibited drugs completely and undividedly are now and who, as one could guess, seven years ago lobbied in the Duma the Draconic law on drugs - namely, the organized crime. Tomorrow's trial is the first check of strength of the article 46. For the beginning, we'll look what decision will be delivered by the Basmanny court".


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