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Legalization Of Cannabis

In the Indian context, cannabis/marijuana has its use linked to bordering history, spreading arms to faith and mysticism. Marijuana is termed as a drug that sustenance's the consumer to reach euphoria in the literal sense of the world. India has a diverse culture and has had its root in the consumption of hash, weed, and bhang for over centuries now. The relationship of cannabis with India is timeworn and has been chronicled by the religious scholars in the venerable ‘Vedas' as one of the five sacred plants.

Cannabis date its usage in India as early as 2000 BC. Terms like charas (resin), ganja (flower), bhang (seeds and leaves) are common when it comes to the question of the preparation of cannabis. Intrinsically drinks in India like bhang lassi, bhang thandai are the most prominent ones when relating to their consumption. Marijuana is a remarkably regularly used outlawed drug around the world with an appraisal of 125 million population consuming it in some variant forms every year.

Undeterred by the country's ancient reliance on the use of cannabis, the plant still stands illegal excluding the government authorized boundaries that are into the business of producing and selling bhang or either for the projects of research and medicine.

Criminalizing attempts in respect of cannabis were prosecuted at the time of British India in 1838,1871 and 1877 respectively. A treaty named the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 appraised cannabis with hard drugs. In course of the diplomacy, the Indian Delegation was hostile and intolerant rooting to India's social and religious customs.

A promise was made by the Indian Government as a settlement, for limiting the export of Indian hemp. Bhang was excluded from the official definition of Cannabis, allowing India to continue the trade business of the same for the various religious festivals enthralled in the Hindu Scriptures. This treaty also provided India with 25 years to tighten up to recreational drugs. With the time covering the end of this privileged period, the Government of India passed the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act [1]in the year 1985.

The aspect of cannabis was compassed in the Indian culture for centuries. The illegalization of weed was an action done in the forceful velocity of the western countries which is now hampering the democracy of the country to an extent. Preceding and subsequently, the NDPS[2], the availability of cannabis in India was smooth. The law that whacked marijuana, bhang, hash, and the variant hard drugs like heroin, smack, cocaine, etc, has proved now to be a poor law by banning them. However, there have been attempts to reform this law dating from 2015-2019 that have managed to leave footprints successfully.

The perception of cannabis is highly misconceived industrially as well as, as a whole legitimately in India. The NDPS Act, 1985 strictly prescribes that the trade and consumption of Cannabis are illegal and any person instituted with the same, could be imprisoned for up to 20 years.

The production of marijuana and hemp is also rigorously illegal in India, providing exemptions to the State Government and also empowering them for hand outing licenses to manage the cultivation of cannabis about convinced circumstances like for research and medicinal use. The Uttar Pradesh and the Uttarakhand regions have the acknowledgment of the hemp cultivation licenses.

Momentous consideration has come within the scope of the Indian cannabis market latterly through numerous court petitions being filed by assorted activists[3] and NGOs exhausting the legalization of cannabis in India. The basic arguments of these petitions are that cannabis owes its vast benefits to its medical consumption and India has the optimal climatic conditions for the cultivation of cannabis and this shall effortlessly result in boosting the economy of the country and curbing the problem of unemployment, thereby creating millions of job opportunities for the needy.

Strengthening the constitutionality of cannabis in India shall eradicate the illegal trade and associated crimes, also booming the government's revenue. Legalization shall also safeguard the fact that efficient quality marijuana is being sold to the consumers who are paying for it.

The legality of cannabis, marijuana is now antiquated and requires retrospection. Notwithstanding, legalization is some way off still, the skyrocketing percentage of cannabis and hemp start-ups bounding the abutment for the legalization of the plant, is promising.

Consideration towards the economical and medicinal logic that shall have a hype with the legalization of cannabis, may not be a less sufficient cause for the Indian government to legalize cannabis within its jurisdiction and unlock its full potential simultaneously.

End-Notes:
  1. The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, referred to as the NDPS Act, is an official Act of the Parliament of India that puts a prohibition on a person to produce/manufacture/cultivate, possess, sell, purchase, transport, store, and/or consume any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.
  2. Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985
  3. The Great Legalisation Movement.
  4. Why Should The Use of Cannabis Be Legalized And Commercialized In India?

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