GLM founder urges HDK to legalise cannabis

In his continuing campaign to legalise the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, founder of the Great Legalisation Movement (GLM) Viki Vaurora has asked the chief minister to allow the growing of the plant.

"Every state government in India has been empowered to issue licences for medicinal cannabis research and horticulture research purpose as per the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS)," Vaurora said in his letter to H D Kumaraswamy.

"(But) no state has come forward to exploit all the benefits of the plant and create a successful regulation model, which can answer most of our society's needs, while also bolstering its own economy," Vaurora added.

He also pointed out that the farm loan waiver given by the state government to the tune of Rs 53,000 crore cannot be a panacea for farm distress, while cannabis can provide food, fodder, shelters, fibre, textiles, energy and medicines from the seeds, stems and flowers.

He asked the state to let farmers grow, produce and trade cannabis that would stop them from sinking into debt again.

Cannabis was banned in India in 1985 due to the United States government's propaganda and pressure from the United Nations that had 76 of its members ban the drug.

The GLM founder drew parallels between Karnataka and the American state of Colorado. The American state had legalised cannabis for recreational and medicinal purposes in January 2014.

Colorado, similar in size to Karnataka and roughly has the same arable land, generated over 0.6 billion dollars of cannabis trade in 2017. This is about Rs 4,000 crore.

Supreme Court advocate K V Dhananjay said despite the NDPS Act empowering the state, it is under the Centre's purview.

"GLM members will file a PIL in the Supreme Court in the next three weeks to legalise cannabis in the country. There have been documented evidence to show that the plant has medicinal contents and can cure several ailments," Dhananjay added.

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GLM founder urges HDK to legalise cannabis

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