Legalization of Cannabis in India


About 275 million folks worldwide, that is roughly 5.6% of the world population aged 15–64 years, used medication a minimum of once throughout 2016. Some 31 million individuals who use drugs suffer from drug use disorders, which means that their drug use is harmful to the purpose wherever they would like to get treatment. Initial estimations counsel that, globally, 13.8 million youth aged 15–16 years used cannabis within the past year, corresponding to a rate of 5.6%. Cannabis is far and away from the foremost widely cultivated, trafficked, and abused illicit drug. Half of the drug seizures worldwide are cannabis seizures. The geographical unfold of these seizures is additionally international, covering much of each country of the globe. Concerning 147 million individuals, 2.5% of the global population, consume cannabis (annual prevalence) compared with0.2% intense hard drug and 0.2% intense opiates. Within the present decade, cannabis abuse has full-grown earlier than hard drug and narcotic abuse. 

The foremost rapid growth in cannabis abuse since the 1960s has been in developed countries in North America, Western Europe, and Australia. Cannabis has become a lot closely joined to contemporaries and therefore the age of initiation is typically below for alternative drugs. Associate analysis of cannabis markets shows that low costs coincide with high levels of abuse, and contrary-wise. Cannabis seems to be price-inelastic within the short term, however fairly elastic over the long run. Though the amount of cannabis customers is bigger than narcotic and hard drug customers, the lower costs of cannabis mean that, in economic terms, the cannabis market is far smaller than the narcotic or hard drug market.

History of Cannabis in India

Cannabis includes a long history in India, veiled in legends and faith. The earliest mention of cannabis has been found within the Vedas or sacred Hindu texts. These writings might be compiled as early as 2000 to 1400 B.C.

According to The Vedas, cannabis was one of 5 sacred plants and a guardian angel lived in its leaves. The Vedas decision cannabis a supply of happiness, joy-giver, benefactor that was with compassion given to humans to assist us to attain delight and lose fear (Abel, 1980). It releases us from anxiety. The god, Shiva is usually related to cannabis, referred to as bhang in

India. In step with legend, Shiva wandered off into the fields when an angry discourse together with his family. Drained from the family conflict and also the hot sun, he fell asleep below a leafy plant. When he awakens, his curiosity led him to sample the leaves of the plant. Instantly rejuvenated, Shiva created the plant his favorite food and he became called the Lord of bhang. During the middle ages, troopers typically took a drink of bhang before getting into battle, even as Westerners took a swig of strong drink. One story tells of the Sikh leader, Gobind Singh’s troopers being frightened by an assaultive elephant with steel in his trunk. Terrified, the lads nearly mutinied till Singh gave one courageous man a mix of bhang and narcotic. The herbs gave him the strength and light soreness to slide below the elephant from below and kill him while not endangering himself.

This act of courageousness led Singh’s men to end over the enemy. Cannabis has been common in India since the start of recorded history and is usually taken as a drink. Nuts and spices, like almonds, pistachios, flower seeds, pepper, ginger, and sugar are combined with cannabis and poached with milk. Yoghourt is additionally used rather than milk.

 Global Scenario of Cannabis

  • Uruguay became the primary country to completely legitimize marijuana in 2013 and last year began permitting sales in native pharmacies (though the purchase is restricted to citizens). North American countries became the second and largest country within the world to legitimize weed nationwide.
  • In Peru possession of marijuana isn’t admonished as long as it’s for personal, private, immediate use. The Peruvian Congress has passed a bill that legalized medical marijuana, permitting the assembly, sale, and importation of cannabis oil.
  • In Spain, citizens aren’t punished for growing cannabis or consuming it in private. The sale is technically illegal; however, there are quite 800 (link in Spanish) “private” cannabis clubs wherever membership needs nothing quite a small amount of work.
  • Marijuana is technically illegal within the European country, wherever authorities can usually flip a blind eye. Marketing cannabis is “illegal however not punishable” therefore officers tolerate it as long as retailers follow bound rules, like not advertising or inflicting a nuisance. Solely citizens are allowed to shop for marijuana, though Amsterdam’s infamous coffee shops are exempt from that rule.
  • In September, the constitutional court in South Africa ruled that weed is legal. Individuals are allowed to use marijuana in private and might conjointly grow the plant for private use.

Why should we legalize Cannabis?

Legalizing cannabis can have major advantages for all citizens. If dispensed properly, everybody can benefit from less crime and a stronger rule of law. However, the implementation of tight narcotic laws in 1986 created the sale, consumption, production, and transportation of marijuana embezzled within the country. Legalizing the drug can particularly facilitate young people and will even lower their consumption of the drug. It’s conjointly some way of raising taxes for the state, rather than fuelling criminal organizations, that presently manage the illegal market. These advantages are more and more recognized by the general public. Crucial to seeing these advantages manifest themselves, is that the means of legalizing cannabis is completed and the way the drug is priced once it’s created legally. India considers the consumption of weed of any type as illegal.

The country ought to absorb the utility of this drug. Cannabis is essentially made from two necessary compounds: consciousness-altering drug (tetrahydrocannabinol) and complete blood count (cannabidiol) that is flooded with medicative advantages and conjointly help us physically, spiritually, and mentally. Our country ought to notice that alcohol and tobacco are a catastrophe compared to cannabis. Weed, Pot, and Marijuana are a number of the names folks are friendly with, talking regarding folks particularly minors and freshmen. The cannabis trade is rapidly growing and it’s been legalized in such a big amount of countries outside. Why is it necessary for our country to place confidence in legalization? Cannabis is often an answer for the majority of our issues.

  • First, the medical trade, cannabis is completely smart to treat the state of mind, glaucoma, alleviating anxiety, helps with the results of infectious disease and anxiety disorder, helps in treating cancer, AIDS significantly helps in treating alcoholism and relieves pain. The researcher’s area unit is still finding the exotic advantages of this plant.
  • Secondly, the economic process of our country. Our country is endowed with the simplest weather for the expansion of weed. Our country has the scope to enter the competitive world of the legal marijuana market globally. With the simplest adapting climate and smart policy choices, it’ll undoubtedly cause an economic process. Alternative blessings are, reducing the state rates, accrued revenue, medicative advancement, decreased crime rates, and ban illegal trade. The Legalization of cannabis could be a boon for the employment sector, putting in place cannabis nurseries and dispensaries and alternative native trade can provide thousands of job opportunities.
    Processing, selling, and commerce involve tons of hands and the government will take tax rates, limitations related to cannabis like that half to sell and not, the policy manufacturers will take away to flip weed welfare. The accrued revenue we tend to get from the import-export trade is often utilized in implementing instructional policies for the illiterate, for rehabilitation centers, for impoverishment funds, health authority, colleges, and for the event of our country. Legalization conjointly facilitates the weed startups and prescription drugs to rise which could help massive investors to step in and conjointly helps the country to interact in the international weed market. On additional analysis, we tend to return up with alternative products out of useful weed.
  • Thirdly, we should always emphasize the crime rates and illegal trade. Legalizing cannabis will cut back associated crime rates. Even though weed is against the law, tons of individuals use it for recreational functions, and proponents of legalizing cannabis state that this may cut back violence and crime rates. In India, we can see tons of crimes associated with the production, distribution, and business of cannabis. The black market plays associate prestige and considers increasing crimes, as they sell weed for higher costs among minors and this generally ends up in accidents inflicting threat to young lives. Mafias conjointly play an important role, the black market tends to draw in minors as a result of weed is scarcely on the market and folks can do something to get it, concealing is additionally promoted through illegal weed trade. Legalization can build weed on the market for folks and therefore the malpractice and fraud are going to be reduced.
  • Fourthly, the result of using other medication mainly alcohol, opioids, and tobacco. Studies prove that the majority of the folks are addicts to alcohol and cigarettes. Conjointly usage of alternative medication like opioids, LSD, is additionally not less. Most of the drugs non-heritable are consumed and cause serious facet effects to the body, a number of the medications have death cause symptoms which individuals never hassle to appreciate. This leads our country to tons of alternative repercussions. Alcohol and cigarettes are thought of as a basic want for the majority, even though folks understand the facet effects, most of them tend to avoid the directions. Introducing cannabis will slightly cut back the alcoholics, smokers, and alternative drug users.

Current legal situation and Important legal provisions

The current Indian Legal Regime on the consumption of Marijuana is the NDPS Act [7].

The Definition Clause[8] of the Act defined Marijuana as follows:

cannabis (hemp) means:

“Charas, that is, the separated organic compound, in whatever kind, whether or not crude or pure, obtained from the cannabis plant and also includes targeted preparation and organic compound referred to as hashish oil or liquid hashish ganja, that is, the flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant (excluding the seeds and leaves when not accompanied by the tops), by whatever name they may be known or designated and any mixture, with or with none neutral material, of any of the higher than forms of cannabis or any drink prepared.”

The Production i.e. growing of Cannabis is against the law below the Act[9], however, the harvesting of the leaves of the cannabis plant that have grown within the wild, has not been found to be lined within the act. The 1961 pact was the primary ever conceived to create Marijuana unlawful within the world.

It was the first-ever international treaty that had placed Cannabis (or Marijuana) with hard drugs, meanwhile at the same time imposing a blanket ban on its production, apart from meditative and research functions. This treaty was severely opposed by India and different cannabis and narcotic producing countries, however, it was swamped before the pressure that the USA was exerting.

The loopholes that were found earlier within the treaty of 1961[11], were once more replicated within the NDPS Act, and therefore the leaves and seeds of the cannabis plant were omitted from the definition of the plant cannabis for the aim of the NDPS Act, and therefore the same was affirmed by the Judiciary further. additionally, to the definition, there also are many punishments prescribed below the NDPS Act[13], that is a fine of Rs. 10,000 or imprisonment of 6 months.

Measures that can be taken to legalize Cannabis

Policymakers will raise suggestions on how weed plantations by farmers, nurseries, pharmacies ought to be managed, and the priority ought to be rural development and concrete infrastructural development. And regulation tips are important, as in prescribing the minors and illiterate individuals from using cannabis. Awareness categories on indefinite-quantity, application, professionals, and cons of the drug ought to be taught in colleges and every one the government-connected establishments which can forestall inappropriate usage. The potency and safety of the drug ought to be clinically well-tried before commercialism goes into any retailers, shopper protection is obligatory. Unauthorized export and import shouldn’t be inspired and tight action should be taken if desecrated.

The violence, disorganization, and crimes related to weed should be taken by the hands of the law. Advertising and Public consumption should be strictly monitored. Adopting smart policies practiced in countries may also give the surety of safety, Colorado, Portugal, North American countries all show smart examples. Unbiased laws should be promoted so no corruption and harm to the country. Tax rates ought to be regulated. Forbidding cannabis will not be smart to the country and economy, yet specializing in measures legalizing and controlling should be handily strategized for the higher growth of the country.

Health effects of Cannabis

Most people don’t consider these benefits or are unaware of these benefits due to a lack of education. Therefore let’s examine some medical edges.

  • Slows cancer –Researchers in California believe that cannabis could forestall cancer from spreading within the body. Experiments were run on breast cancer cells during a research lab. The result was positive; therein the cells slashed expression that became less aggressive spreaders. It can also slow the growth in the brain and breast.
  • Prevention of Alzheimer –THC is one of the best ingredients in cannabis and it slows the progression. It blocks the protein within the brain that kills brain cells, that causes Alzheimer’s.
  • Improves respiratory organ health –Cannabis could improve respiratory organ capability, in some of those that wish to reverse the cancer effects of tobacco.
  • Chemo support –People who have cancer expertise heaps of discomfort like severe pain, nausea, vomiting, and loss of craving. Cannabis will facilitate reducing these facet effects.
  • PTSD and anxiety –People who use marijuana could expertise less severe symptoms of concern that have existing PTSD. Marijuana will improve mood and might lower anxiety.
  • Brain support –Cannabis will facilitate healing the brain once it is traumatic. It will reduce the bruise that helps in the healing of the brain.

The Indian Scenario: Issues and Concerns

There is a worldwide wave of legalization of cannabis, based on its healthful properties and business utilities. Buoyed by success within the West (Uruguay, some American states, Canada), cannabis supporters are pushing for legislation in India. In the US, the utilization of marijuana (an additional habit-forming derivative) for healthful functions is legal in a variety of states, whereas its use for recreational purposes has conjointly been legalized in some states. Canada has legalized its use for recreational additionally as healthful functions. Europe recognizes the utilization of cannabis for recreational functions as against the law; however, its use for medical functions is allowable in several countries. Commercial entities perceive that targeting the young assures them lifelong customers. A replacement array of cannabis products within the type of ice creams, sweets, and even soft-drinks have become offered. The West conjointly says that legalizing and regulating cannabis can “undermine criminal markets”. Congress MP Shashi Tharoor echoed this read last year. Yet, as we have seen in Colorado, the black market has solely accumulated.

In 1961, driven by Western nations, the united nation sponsored an international written agreement to ban the production and provision of medication as well as cannabis. India resisted and negotiated exceptions, loopholes, and deferrals. It\’s alleged that the NDPS was a result of intense international pressure following the UN’s Single Convention on Narcotic medication, 1961. Ironically, the West is currently legalizing cannabis and alternative medication. On the condition that some in India are clamoring for the same, the country ought to rigorously think about all the risks, and think about alternatives. One, it might legitimize cannabis, however, forbid commercialization. Two, if India were to liberalize its policy on cannabis, it ought to make sure that there are enough protections for kids, the young, and people with severe mental diseases, who are most at risk of its effects. Finally, treatments for people who become keen on cannabis ought to be offered.


I would like to conclude by telling; cannabis may be a helpful drug and will be legalized. Cannabis ought to not be sorted with cocaine and hard drugs, however with different recreational medicine like caffeine and tobacco. The legitimating of cannabis can produce new job opportunities and can provide a large boost to our economy. It is often used for numerous medical functions. Folks are battling with illnesses and disorders that may doubtless cause death. Everybody should be educated regarding the advantages and if a lawyer or a group of people speak, for legalizing cannabis the taboo ‘junky’ should not incline.


  2. cialized-in-india-.html
  4. 20-09-19

This article is authored by Muskan Deora, Student at Institute of Law, Nirma University, Ahmedabad.

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