Goa govt considering legalising cannabis cultivation, opposition sees red

Started by Prem Kumar, Dec 30, 2020, 12:19 PM

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Prem Kumar

Goa govt considering legalising cannabis cultivation, opposition sees red

Goa's Law Minister Nilesh Cabral said that his department has vetted the file from a 'legal perspective' after he received it from the Health Department and that he personally favoured it.

The Goa government is considering a legislation that will make the cultivation of marijuana for medicinal purposes a legitimate activity, people familiar with the development have said.

The proposal, which originated in the Health Department has been vetted by the Law Department, but is likely to encounter resistance in the Cabinet as well as from the Chief Minister's Office and there is no indication that it will succeed in making it to the legislative Assembly that is scheduled to meet in late January.

Speaking to the media, Goa's Law Minister Nilesh Cabral said that his department has vetted the file from a 'legal perspective' after he received it from the Health Department.

According to Cabral only controlled farming of marijuana for medicinal purposes, will be permitted so that the natural drug could be sold to pharmaceutical companies.

"It is on the same ground as how liquor is regulated. If you recall before 1985 there was no ban on this. The NDPS Act was brought by the central government and charas, ganja were added in the scheduled list of banned drugs," said Cabral.

"Today in several states in India the form of this plant known as bhang is sold over the counter through a licenced establishment like a bar licence," Cabral said.

The minister who said that he was personally in favour of legalising the cultivation of marijuana, also claimed that he had seen the use of marijuana to cue cancer.

"This plant is originally from India. If it is used for health reasons and not recreational... I don't see why not. I've seen people using it in curing last stage cancer. This is already being officially used in America, Canada Australia so why should our people remain behind. It can be cheaply made available if people are suffering from cancer," he added.

The Chief Minister's Office has rejected the suggestion that the Goa government has 'taken a decision' to permit the cultivation of marijuana for medicinal purposes and said that the mere movement of a file didn't amount to a decision of the government.

The opposition Goa Forward Party has hit out at the government for what it said was the promotion of Goa as a 'vices hub.'

"The Chief Minister has confirmed that the file has really been moved but that there has been no decision. The meaning of this is that since the file has been moved, there is an intention to do it. They have taken this stop because they want to promote Goa as a vices hub to completely finish the next generation," Vijai Sardesai, the leader of the Goa Forward Party, now in the opposition, said.

"How will they handle the law and order crisis that will consequently emerge from legalising cannabis cultivation? Who will be the watchdog to ensure that it is for medicinal purposes only? And if the watchdog himself starts accepting bribes to allow it to be pilfered and the young generation gets access to it, the future generations will get access just so that they can fill their pockets," Sardesai said.

"Will good tourists come to Goa if cannabis is legalised? Or will only the rubbish and drug addicts end up here. Casinos are here. Now you want to bring drugs and next you will want to bring (legal) prostitution," Sardesai said.

Earlier in this month, India voted in favour of removing marijuana from the list of 'most dangerous drugs' at the United Nations.

Sources: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/goa-govt-considering-legalising-cannabis-cultivation-opposition-sees-red/story-TfVsZVGXwSGenFHaDibXFM.html


The health department's proposal includes setting up a committee that will recommend appropriate measures for the legal cultivation of cannabis in the state. It also includes regulations regarding the sale and possession of cannabis-based products.


The present government's view is that making the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes legal will help boost the state's economy. However, there is significant opposition to this move, with many arguing that it will lead to increased drug use and addiction. Anyway, it is great news for me because I will be able to order edibles online without any problems. I use them for relieving my stress after work and the pain in my back because I have serious health problems with them. So it's a good decision because a lot of people will benefit from this.

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