Maneka Gandhi, Union women and child Development minister has proposed to make use of marijuana legal for medical purposes in India. Various countries already following the same norm.
Maneka put forward that in “some of the developed countries like the US, marijuana has been legalised, which ultimately results in less drug abuse”. “The possibility of the same may be explored in India”, she prepended.
Gandhi made this suggestion at a meeting of a group of ministers (GOM), which analysed the draft cabinet note national drug demand reduction policy, in accordance with the minutes of the second meeting, a Xerox of which is with PTI.
The meeting was chaired by our Home Minister Rajnath Singh and the GoM sanctioned the draft policy with minor modifications in relation with suggestions made at the meeting.
Gandhi told PTI that “marijuana should be legalised for medical purposes, especially as it serves a purpose in cancer”
She also emphasized on the need to regulate the sale and availability of pharmaceutical drugs, such as codeine cough syrups and inhalants, that are being abused. The draft policy for drug demand reduction seeks to address the problem of drug and substance abuse in the country.
Mentioning to a national survey on drug abuse conducted by the ministry of social justice in collaboration with AIIMS, Maneka recommended that the possibility of setting up deaddiction centres near railway stations should be inspected to cater to children living in and around the premises.
On the issue of legalising drugs in the country, the social justice and empowerment secretary G Latha Krishna Rao said “it may not be appropriate to legalise such drugs” in view of the large population and low level of literacy in the country and added that the possibility could be explored in future.
The GoM also recommended the projected budget estimate of Rs 125 crore annually for implementation of the policy.