Panaji, Dec 29 : The Goa government is considering a proposal to permit legal farming of cannabis in the state, strictly for medicinal purposes, Law Minister Nilesh Cabral said on Tuesday.
Cabral said that the proposal was moved by the Health Department and added that “bhang” is being sold legally in other states, similar to liquor sale in Goa.
“The file came to us from the law department. We have only vetted it from the legal perspective,” he added.
The proposal moots the possibility of allowing controlled farming of marijuana for medicinal purpose, so that the natural drug could be sold to pharmaceutical companies.
The Law Minister said that there was nothing “controversial” about the proposal, claiming that before the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act came into force in 1985, charas (hashish) and ganja (marijuana) were legally available in Goa.
“The NDPS Act was introduced in India because of lobbying by the United States government, which in turn was being pressurised by the pharmaceutical sector.
“In seven states in India, a form of this (cannabis) plant which is known as “bhang” is already available. Bhang is sold across the counter in some states in licenced stores like liquor stores in India,” Cabral said.
The Opposition in Goa is up in arms over the issue, with the Goa Forward party stating that the move was not in the interest of the state, especially the youth.
“How will this benefit the youth of Goa? Is this needed for their future?” Goa Forward chief and former Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai asked.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.