Is decriminalisation of marijuana in India a better move?

Marijuana has many medical benefits and many voices, though against the legalisation of marijuana, support its decriminalisation for its numerous medical boons

Cannabis Plant
Cannabis Plant

Syed Wajid

Talking of the illegal drug marijuana to be decriminalised in India is what draws attention. If the government takes the issue of decriminalising marijuana on a serious note, it may generate revenue to add to the GDP which is plummeting down. On one hand, psychoactive drugs like ecstasy and LSD (Lysergic acid Diethylamide), potentially illegal drugs frequent rave dos. These recreational drugs are known to trigger a quick kick and stay hours with fuelled energy, pleasure, empathy, aggression, euphoria and above all cause drug-induced hallucinations that feed one’s wild imaginations. The user goes into a flight of trance. But on the other hand, marijuana has many medical benefits and many voices though are against the legalisation of marijuana, support its decriminalisation for its numerous medical boons.

According to Dr Deepak Raheja, President of Delhi Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist said, “Cannabis is a psychotropic drug usually used to alter the mood and mind. It slows down the activity of the central nervous system. Marijuana can be used for medical purposes but there is a significant difference between medical use and dependence on the drug. Medically, cannabis use is recommended by doctors to treat various symptoms such as nausea /vomiting during chemotherapy, improving the appetite of HIV/AIDS patients and reducing chronic pain. Marijuana helps in altering mood and its functioning resembles that of a “stress buster”.

Some benefits of marijuana

Glaucoma, a disease in which a person loses his eyesight can be cured by Smoking marijuana.

Smoking marijuana seems to stimulate the appetite of people suffering from AIDS.

Cancer, studies show that cannabinoids like CBD and THC kill cancer cells in laboratory conditions without harming the healthy cells nearby. Cannabis has psychoactive and physiological effects when consumed. The immediate desired effects from consuming cannabis include relaxation and euphoria.

Medical marijuana
Medical marijuana
Photo courtesy: social media

Taking a fleeting glimpse of the following nations enjoying the freedom of decriminalising cannabis

Poland, the medical use of cannabis was legalised in 2017.

Moldova, it is illegal but decriminalised.

Macedonia, it’s legal for medical purposes, but illegal for recreational purposes.

Luxembourg, cannabis is illegal for recreational use, but possession of personal amounts is decriminalised, and medical use has been legalised.

Italy has legalised for medical and industrial uses, although it is strictly regulated, while it is decriminalised for recreational uses.

Greece, it’s illegal for recreational purposes. In 2017 medical use of cannabis was legalised.

Germany has legalised for certain limited medical contexts, but illegal for recreational usage.

Georgia it is legal in terms of its possession and consumption due to a ruling by the Constitutional Court of Georgia on 30 July 2018.

The Czech Republic has legalised for recreational use, but personal possession has been decriminalised since 1 January 2010 and medical cannabis has been legal since 1 April 2013.

Cannabis in Croatia is decriminalised for personal use and legalised for limited medical uses.

In Chile, Cultivation of medical cannabis is legal. Recreational cannabis is decriminalised.

Cannabis in Austria is legal for scientific and medical usage, but illegal for recreational usage.

Cannabis in Antigua and Barbuda is illegal but decriminalised.

It is used in treating inflammations of the bladder and kidney stones. Dried leaf powder is applied to fresh wounds to promote healing. With digestive herbs (like cumin, fennel, anise) bhang can be excellent for stimulating appetite and digestion; with aphrodisiac herbs and foods (almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, saffron) it becomes an excellent aphrodisiac.

in 2015, Uruguay became the first country to legalize recreational cannabis with Canada following last year, 2018. On the other hand, Cannabis in South Africa has been decriminalised by the country's Constitutional Court for personal consumption by adults in private. Whereas on 21 August 2009, Mexico decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis and other drugs in order to reduce the illicit drug activity. President Enrique Pena Nieto signed a bill to legalize cannabis-based substances for medical purposes on June 19, 2017. The most important part that grabs immediate attention is that the Netherlands where cannabis is illegal but is decriminalised for personal use. Recreational consumption of the drug is tolerable; hence, it is available in coffee shops. Even in Spain, consumption and cultivation by adults in a private space is legal.

Peru legalised cannabis oil for medical use in 2017, it is illegal for recreational purposes, and however, its possession is decriminalized by Art. 299 of the Criminal Code.

On July 19th, 2018, The Israeli Knesset finally approved the bill for decriminalisation. The law will go into place this year, April 1st, 2019.

There are several other nations like Zimbabwe, last year, 2018 on 27 April, became the second African country to legalise marijuana for both medical and scientific purposes. Again, last year only in November 2018, United Kingdom legalised cannabis for medical use, whereas it is strictly banned from recreational uses.

Cannabis in Sri Lanka is legally sold through Ayurveda herbal shops and can be used for medical and scientific purposes if given a license by the Ministry of Health. Thus, it is legal for medical purposes and for recreational purposes it is limited to Ayurveda. For cultivation, Government licence is required.

Section 20 NDPS Act deals with the offences related not only to the consumption but also cultivation, possession, use, sale/purchase, import/export, transportation and warehousing of cannabis, except for medical or scientific purposes in India.

Hashish (<i>charas)</i>, a substance, separated resin, either in  crude or purified form, obtained from the cannabis plant and also includes concentrated preparation and resin known as hashish oil or liquid hashish
Hashish (charas), a substance, separated resin, either in crude or purified form, obtained from the cannabis plant and also includes concentrated preparation and resin known as hashish oil or liquid hashish
Photo courtesy: social media

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