Goa government is considering legalizing cannabis cultivation, opposition sees red
The Goa government is considering legislation that will make the cultivation of marijuana for medicinal purposes a legitimate activity, people familiar with the development said.
The proposal, which originated in the Department of Health, has been reviewed by the Legal Department, but it is likely to meet resistance in the Cabinet and the Office of the Chief Minister and there is no indication that it will make it to the Legislative Assembly. which is scheduled to meet at the end of January.
Speaking to the media, Goan Law Minister Nilesh Cabral said that his department examined the file from a “legal perspective” after receiving it from the Health Department.
According to Cabral, only the controlled cultivation of marijuana for medicinal purposes will be allowed so that the natural drug can be sold to pharmaceutical companies.
“It is on the same ground where liquor is regulated. If you remember before 1985, there was no ban. The NDPS Law was introduced by the central government and charas, ganja were added to the programmed list of prohibited drugs, ”said Cabral.
“Today in various states of India, the form of this plant known as bhang is sold without a prescription through an establishment licensed as a bar license,” Cabral said.
The minister who said that he personally was in favor of legalizing marijuana cultivation, also claimed that he had seen the use of marijuana as a sign of cancer.
“This plant is native to India. If it is used for health reasons and not recreational… I don’t see why not. I have seen people use it to cure late stage cancer. This is already being used officially in the United States, Canada, and Australia, so why should our people be left behind? It can be available at low cost if people have cancer, “he added.
The Chief Minister’s Office rejected the suggestion that the Goan government “made a decision” to allow the cultivation of marijuana for medicinal purposes, saying that the mere movement of a file did not amount to a government decision.
The opposition Goa Forward Party has criticized the government for what it said was promoting Goa as a “center of vices.”
“The Chief Minister has confirmed that the file has actually 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 so. They have taken this stop because they want to promote Goa as a center of vices to completely wipe out the next generation, ”said Vijai Sardesai, leader of the Goa Forward Party, now in opposition.
“How will they handle the public order crisis that will consequently emerge from the legalization of cannabis cultivation? Who will be the watchdog to make sure it’s for medicinal purposes only? And if the same watchdog starts taking bribes to allow its theft and the younger generation has access to it, future generations will have access just so they can line their pockets, ”Sardesai said.
“Will good tourists come to Goa if cannabis is legalized? Or will only junkies and trash end up here? The casinos are here. Now you want to bring drugs and then you want to bring (legal) prostitution, ”Sardesai said.
Earlier this month, India voted to remove marijuana from the United Nations list of ‘most dangerous drugs’.