Marijuana Protest Staged Inside Bulgarian Parliament

Domestic | February 8, 2012, Wednesday // 22:48|  views

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A unique protest was staged Wednesday in Parliament against the 8-month prison sentence issued by the Specialized Criminal Court for the possession of a single joint cigarette.

Radoslav Stoyanov, who is among the organizers of a February 11 protest against the controversial anti-piracy Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) agreement, used the opportunity to speak in Parliament to voice his indignation at what he said was an unfair verdict.

He asked President Rosen Plevneliev to grant a pardon to the young man "whose life has now been ruined".

On February 02, Bulgaria's newly launched anti-mafia court sentenced Svetlin Penev from the Black Sea city of Varna to 8 months in prison and a fine of BGN 10 000 for the possession of 0.54 grams of marijuana worth about BGN 3.50.

"Will you take out a lighter to show your support for the young man?" Stoyanov asked MPs, waving around a marijuana cigarette.

The provocation triggered a verbal exchange between the young activist and Krasimir Velchev, Chair of the parliamentary group of center-right ruling party GERB.

"He told me that what I was doing was criminal and that people like me had no right to vote", Stoyanov told journalists, as cited by Sega daily.

Stoyanov, in turn, repeatedly asked the MP what his name was so as to not make the mistake of voting for him.

Velchev accused the protester of spreading misconceptions, adding that the sentence had been handed not only for the possession of marijuana but for the provision of a place for storing drugs.

"There have been calls that there is no democracy. If this is not democracy, then I do not know what is", Velchev snapped.

After the scandal subsided, the debates on ACTA continued.

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Tags: marijuana, cigarrette, ACTA, Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, Bulgarian Parliament, Specialized Criminal Court, GERB, Krasimir Velchev


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