Cannabis Medicines in India: Cannabis is allowed to grow in India for medical, scientific or industrial purposes only after getting approval. But the use of the plant is prohibited by the NDPS Act of 1985.
Why should the ban on charas, ganja be removed in India? Know the reason
The US state of California gave permission to sell cannabis (hemp) in January 2018. In the next two years, he got more than $1 billion (Rs 7,345 crore) in tax from this alone. Mumbai missed a revenue opportunity of Rs 641 crore in 2018 because possession or use of ganja is illegal in India. In a way, this is very funny because under American pressure, India had banned marijuana about 35 years ago. India has banned the plant which is being cultivated in the country for about 7,000 years, which is mentioned in many medicines of Ayurveda. On the one hand, the use of cannabis is getting approved in western countries, India is shutting down a good source of revenue by imposing a ban. Research by the Vidhi Center for Legal Policy suggests that the ban on ganja is depriving India of becoming a part of a large sector globally.
What are the legal provisions on Cannabis?
Consumption of cannabis of any kind is banned in India under the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. It is allowed to grow only for medical, scientific or industrial purposes. There are three forms of cannabis in law – charas (hashish), oil and ganja. There is no ban on cannabis, but there is a regulation on growing it. Growing hemp without permission is punishable with imprisonment up to 10 years. Also, having a small amount of ganja can lead to jail. If found in excess, there is a provision of imprisonment of at least 10 years. Possessing even a small amount of ganja can result in a jail term of 6 months.
Expenses incurred in preventing and catching smuggling
Cannabis cases put pressure on the police and the judiciary. There is no estimate on the cost of a cannabis ban in India, but a study in the US suggests that legalizing cannabis could save the government $7.7 billion in spending every year. Further research suggests that prison costs are 2-6 times higher than the health and social costs of cannabis use. According to research by Vidhi Legal Center, most of the arrests are from low income earners. The quality of the product is also affected by legal restrictions. Shoe polish is often added to hemp, the use of battery acid is also common. Apart from this, there is also an adulteration of the addictive drug benzodiazepine.
Heavy loss of revenue due to ban
By giving legal approval to the use of cannabis, the government can levy tax on it like alcohol and tobacco. Right now both of them are the main sources of its revenue. A 2018 survey revealed that the amount of cannabis used in Delhi and Mumbai can fetch several hundred crore rupees in tax. Industrial hemp is another form of this plant, used in construction, paper and personal care products. Its global market is estimated to be $15.8 billion by 2027. However, India only accounts for only 0.001% of this entire trade.
Earlier there was no evil, now crime
The Vidhi report states that the cultivation of cannabis began in India between 5000,4000 BC. Till the modern history of India, its use was not seen as a social evil. The British also only monitored the use of ganja, did not ban it. India came under pressure from America and banned it through the NDPS Act. America’s narcotics drugs policy was purely to benefit its interests.
Countries are gradually lifting the ban
In the past few years, many countries have not only lifted the legal ban on cannabis. Rather, its use as a recreational drug has also been approved. Uruguay was the first country to do so. It gave legal status to cannabis in 2013. Since then, three more countries have made it fully legal. The possession and consumption of cannabis has been decriminalized in 26 US states. Adults can consume it in 11 states.
ref from navbharat indiatimes weed-banned-in-india-why-it-should-allow-marijuana-cannabis-use
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