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4,258 signatures collected so far in favor of legalizing marijuana

 RIGA, Nov 20 (LETA) - Over the past two weeks, 3,000 people have signed the "www.manabalss.lv" petition proposing to legalize marijuana in Latvia, bringing the total number of signatures up to 4,258.
Aris Abele, the person behind the initiative, urges support for lifting fines for growing, storing and smoking small amounts of marijuana for individual needs.
Latvian Association of Narcologists representative Ilze Maksima believes that the initiative is "inappropriate", and adds that it is a "determined attempt by sick people to legalize their addiction."
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rihard Kozlovskis (Reform Party) points out that any discussion and speculation regarding legalizing marijuana is useless as it can only be legalized by amending the Constitution.
278 new patients suffering from narcotic, psychotropic and toxic addictions were registered in Latvia in 2011. Overall, 3,390 persons were addicted to such substances in the country last year, according to the Latvian Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
Marijuana users constituted 0.8 percent of Latvia's working age population in 2011.
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