‘I’m not interested’: Goa CM rejects proposal to allow cannabis cultivation
One day after it emerged that the Goa government was actively examining a proposal to allow the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes, Prime Minister Pramod Sawant rejected the proposal saying that his government was not interested in pursuing it.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday night, Sawant said that “the Goa government is not interested in going ahead with this proposal.”
“The Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, a first-rate agency of the Government of India, had sent us a proposal… We had sent it for examination to different departments. It doesn’t mean that we are going to grow cannabis, ”Sawant said.
The proposal was reviewed by Goa’s law department, and Law Minister Nilesh Cabral said he was in favor of legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes only.
On Tuesday, while the proposal received vocal support from a section of the Goa government ministers, Sawant appeared ambiguous, stating that “the fact that the file has been moved does not mean that a decision has been made.”
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The opposition Goa Forward Party had criticized the government for what it said was promoting Goa as a “center of vices.”
“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 is only for medicinal purposes? And if the same watchdog starts taking bribes to allow it to be stolen and the younger generation has access to it, future generations will have access just so they can line their pockets, ”Sardesai had said.
As soon as Sawant announced that the government was not interested in following the proposal, Sardesai claimed victory.
The proposal was expected to meet with resistance within the cabinet, leaving little hope that it would make it to the Goa Legislative Assembly.