Himachal Government considering legalization of Cultivation of Cannabis

The State Government is considering legalization of the cultivation of cannabis in the State. It would play a significant role in generating revenue for the state besides proving beneficial for the patients as it has many medicinal properties and can be used for industrial purposes also. This was stated by Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu while speaking with the media persons on Thursday. 

The Chief Minister said that the State Government was cautious about the potential increase in drug use and has formed a five-member committee of MLAs. The Committee will conduct a thorough study of each and every aspect related to cannabis cultivation in the State. The committee will visit areas where illegal cultivation of cannabis takes place and submit a report in a month and only on the basis of the report submitted by the committee the Government will take any decision, said the Chief Minister.

He said that even before Himachal Pradesh, cannabis cultivation has been kept under the legal purview in several states of the country. The neighboring state of Uttarakhand has become the first state in the country to legalize cannabis cultivation in the year 2017, while controlled cultivation of cannabis is also being done in some districts of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. Similarly, controlled cultivation of cannabis has been permitted in several European Union countries including Uruguay, Canada, the USA, Austria, Belgium, and the Czech Republic, added the Chief Minister.

The State Government would consider all aspects, including regulatory measures, and will study other states that have legalized it before making a final decision, said the Chief Minister.

Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said, “The Parliament of India defined cannabis in the NDPS Act in the year 1985, under which a complete ban has been imposed on extracting the resin and flowers from the cannabis plant. But this law determines the method and extent of cultivation of cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes. Section 10 (a) (iii) of the Act empowers the states to make rules regarding the cultivation of any cannabis plant, production, possession, transport, consumption, use and purchase and sale, and consumption of cannabis (except charas). States are empowered to permit, by general or special order, the cultivation of hemp only for obtaining fibber or seeds or for horticultural purposes.”

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