Explained: Himachal Pradesh To Legalise Cannabis Cultivation? ‘Medical Marijuana’ In India & Its Uses; The Story So Far

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Himachal Pradesh is considering the legalisation of cannabis cultivation.

Shimla: There have been reports that the state government of Himachal Pradesh is considering the legalisation of cannabis cultivation. It came after the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu government on Thursday decided to form a panel to explore the possibility of the legal cultivation of cannabis.

What is the new announcement from Shimla? Following a discussion on the matter in the Assembly, Chief Minister Sukhu, during his reply speech, announced the formation of a five members all-party panel of legislators to look into the matter. The committee, tasked with report submission in a month’s time, will be headed by the Revenue and Horticulture Minister Jagat Singh Negi.

What did the CM say? “The issue of cannabis cultivation was brought to the assembly and we have decided to constitute a committee which will submit its report in one month to the government. We shall explore the legal options for medicinal and industrial purposes, we shall see and take any decision after the report of the committee,” the Himachal CM was quoted as saying by PTI.

Responsibilities of the committee: Elaborating on the road ahead, members of the panel said they will look into how licensed cultivation of cannabis become practical. The other areas likely to receive priority attention include:

  • How it will be cultivated?
  • Who will be allowed to cultivate it?
  • How will it be regulated?
  • Who will be in charge of regulated cultivation and transportation?
  • How to ensure the decision will not backfire in any case?
  • What are other regulations necessary?

Is the Opposition fully on board? There are no strong signs that suggest otherwise. It was BJP MLA Puran Chand Thakur who brought a resolution for discussion in the Assembly. Under rule 63, he wanted a discussion on the use of cannabis for industrial and medicinal purposes.

BJP MLA Dr Janak Raj is the medical expert in the newly formed committee. He is reportedly of the opinion that the medical use of Cannabis will eventually help to curb the drug menace. It also got the potential to open up employment opportunities and strengthen the economy of the state.

The medical ground of cannabis cultivation: “The active ingredient of cannabis is Tetrahydrocannabinol. It has a large number of uses to treat diseases like neurological diseases including Alzheimer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and also to deal with cancerous diseases,” Dr Janak Raj told PTI.

Medical uses of marijuana: According to Britannica, Medical cannabis is most frequently administered either by smoking or vaporization or in the form of edible preparations. Clinical trials have reportedly suggested that cannabis may be useful in the management of a variety of conditions, including pain, spasticity, nausea, anorexia, and seizures.

Cannabis cultivation in India: In 2017, Uttarakhand became the first state to legalise cannabis cultivation, The New Indian Express (TNIE) reported. Controlled cultivation is permissible in some districts of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, the report added.

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