Goa mulls limited legal plantation of marijuana

Goa mulls legal plantation of marijuana for ‘medicinal reasons’

The move is aimed at facilitating marijuana in limited quantities to pharma companies in Goa

Representative image. Credit: iStock.

Infamous as one of the country’s top narco-tourism destinations, Goa is now considering legal farming of marijuana, strictly for medicinal reasons.

Even as Goa’s Law Minister Nilesh Cabral has confirmed that his ministry has processed the file and that the proposal to allow controlled farming of marijuana could be placed before the cabinet for a decision, the Opposition has slammed the move, calling it irresponsible and dangerous for the youth in the state.

Cabral has said that the move was aimed at facilitating marijuana in limited quantities to the pharmaceutical companies located in Goa.

The proposal, he said, was sent to the Law ministry by the Health Ministry which is anchoring the proposal. 

Health Minister Vishwajit Rane was unavailable for comment.

The Opposition has slammed the move, saying it bodes ill for the youth of the state.

“This is a decision which can harm the youth of Goa. How can the government even consider a proposal like this, which is potentially harmful to the coming generations,” Goa Forward party president and former deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai said.

Interestingly, multiple Goa Police agencies, including the anti-narcotics cell and the Crime Branch have raided nearly a dozen illegal plantations in the coastal state growing marijuana.

Several foreigners, especially from Russia have also been arrested for growing marijuana in controlled climate within villas and large apartments.

Currently, illegally growing marijuana attracts stringent penalties under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance act.