Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has said a state committee formed to study various aspects of legalising cultivation of cannabis has submitted its report and it would be presented in the assembly on Friday.
Replying to a question by BJP leader Vipin Parmar, Sukhu told the Vidhan Sabha on Thursday the committee, headed by Revenue Minister Jagat Singh Negi, visited Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Madhya Pradesh and submitted its report after studying all the legal, economic and administrative aspects of the issue.
He said the team had plans to visit countries where cannabis cultivation is legal but it could not materialise due to natural calamities in the state. They would undertake trips to such counties to examine the legal framework for cannabis cultivation and usage there, he said.
The cultivation of industrial hemp is legal in Uttarakhand under section 14 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and the team also visited institutes in Madhya Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir that make medicinal use of cannabis.
The chief minister said cannabis is cultivated illegally in Kullu, Mandi, Chamba and Shimla districts.
Leader of the Opposition Jai Ram Thakur said the government should take public opinion on the issue as legalising cannabis cultivation has both positive (revenue generation) and negative (drug abuse) aspects.
The chief minister had said during the budget session in March-April that the state government is considering legalisation of cannabis (hemp cultivation) and constituted a committee to explore its possibility.
He had stated that all aspects including regulatory measures, would be considered before making a final call.
In May this year, the committee had visited the Centre for Aromatic Plants in Selaqui, Dehradun, and obtained information regarding the state-of-the-art plant nursery, cultivation of medicinal plants and aromatic flowers in the centre.
The neighbouring state of Uttarakhand has become the first state in the country to legalise cannabis cultivation in 2017, while controlled cultivation of cannabis is also being done in some districts of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
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