Author: Shivangini Shrivastava, Student at Renaissance Law College, Indore (M.P.).
The main objective of the research paper is about to study and analyze the legalization of cannabis in India. Cannabis also had a pre historic value mentioned in Ayurveda as a ingredient for pain relieve and erotic, but in small quantities and it holds great religious connect with people this era. This research deals with benefits that government will derive after legalizing cannabis as it would significantly increase revenue, would also decrease unemployment in India. It also explains the medicinal usage of cannabis. We have also discussed that before1985 use of cannabis is legal in India. But it was banned by our late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi under the immense pressure of us. After the enactment of the narcotic drug and psychotropic substance act 1985, legalization of cannabis is always a questionable subject matter .and sale and possession of such drug has been illegalized all over India. This research paper covers the petition filed by non-profit research organization whose aim is to legalize the use of cannabis for industrial, medicinal, recreational purpose in India. But now as we know there are numerous benefits of cannabis which can help in field of healthcare industry and it help for curing some serious diseases like cancer, aids, etc. But only legalizing would not help, a regulatory body should be established which shall keep a check on sale of cannabis and should also keep a record on use of cannabis that it is only being used the above said purpose, not for any other purpose.
Keywords: Cannabis, Legalization, Medicinal Purpose, Recreational, Drugs, Substances.
Cannabis (marijuana) is a plant and its dried leaves, seed oil and other parts of this cannabis plant are used for recreational and medicinal drugs. The legality of the use of this cannabis plant varies amongst the state laws. The people who are using cannabis based products should be check first whether it is legal or not in their states.
The narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances act, 1985 defines the laws of India on cannabis & its by-products. The cultivation, the sale, possession and transportation of cannabis is prohibited under this ndps act 1985 law in certain forms in India .in ndps act 1985 has also defines that in what form the cannabis are sold and there is a defines given under section 2 (3) of the ndps act 1985 .
The cannabis is not prohibited in all over India because according to our ancient Indian history there is some description in the Vedas that the plant named cannabis leaves and its others parts were used for medicinal purpose and the mention of cannabis also referred in Ayurveda as a ingredient for pain relieve and erotic, but in small quantities. And it is also said that the Hindu god Shiva have chosen the cannabis as his favorite food. Bhang is a traditional Indian cannabis fill drink. Primarily link with the worship of the god lord Shiva and now bhang is widely used as the official drink in the festival of Holi and its celebration. It is also believed that the lord Shiva is always be in the deep meditation and to stay in the state of complete bliss and concentrated he consumes bhang .
In India before 1985 the buying and selling and cultivation of the cannabis is legal but under the enormous of America of banning the cannabis the Rajiv Gandhi leading government had passed the act in 1985 called the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances act and under this law the government had banned Charas, hashish, ganja, and any combination with or without any natural mixture. Under this law, all the state governments got the power to grant permission, authority, and modulate the cultivation of cannabis plants along with production, manufacture, possession, transport, import and export of the plant and its by-products between states only the state government and its authorized personnel have permission to cultivate the plant.
HISTORY OF CANNABIS IN INDIA
Cannabis is now banned in India but cannabis has a very long ancient history of using it in India, rooted in legends and religions .in our sacred Hindu texts or in Vedas there is a mention of the cannabis and the compilation of these writings are date from 2000 to 1400 BC.
There is mentioned in our Vedas that the cannabis plant was one of the five scared plant and its leaves contained the savior particles in it. In the Vedas, cannabis has been described as a joyous, joy-giving, savior, which was mercifully given to humans to, helps us attain happiness and lose fear & it relieves anxiety.
The god, lord Shiva is always linked to cannabis by the Indian peoples and which is called bhang in India. According to the myth, the lord Shiva wandered into the fields after an angry discourse with his family, troubled by the family conflicts and strong rays of sunlight; he slept under a leafy plant. When he woke up, his curiosity prompted him to sample the leaves of the plant. Immediately after the rejuvenation, the lord Shiva declared the plant as his favorite food and after that he known as the god of bhang.
Cannabis which was legal in India till 1985, but it was banned by our late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi under the immense pressure of America; the United States forced to ban narcotics (including cannabis) in India which we also call as ganja. Now the question arises- why America forced India? The reason in the back of the ban was to control the involvement of the assembled crime in cultivation, distribution, and uses of drugs and there is also another reason in back of the ban was the possible industrial application of the plant. Under article 28 of the single convention on narcotics drug, 1961, America started a campaign in 1960s to foist the ban on cannabis, at the United Nations. And the signatory states mentioned the cannabis in the list of highly regulated substances. And during this convention the decisions made that only those personnel can cultivate and trade the cannabis in their country after obtaining the license for it.
America pressurized India because in 1961 treaty between nations to ban narcotics which includes cannabis. India was not the signatory member of it. And at that period of time Rajiv Gandhi government was on lead and under the pressure of United States they had passed the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances act in 1985.
Under the law, the state government got the power to permit, control, and regulates the cultivation of cannabis plants along with production, manufacture, possession, transport, inter-state import and export of the plant and its derivatives. Only the state government and its permitted personnel have the licensed permission to cultivate the plant.
Cannabis is a type of plant and it contains the chemical compound the (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol), which is responsible for psychoactive effects of cannabis that leads to the “high” that is experienced when cannabis is consumed. But, not all the components of cannabis are psychoactive.
The flower and dry leaves of the cannabis plant are known as marijuana, which can be smoked (by pipe or, small paper hand rolled, or consumed in an edible (like-, cookies, brownies, etc). The resinous excretions of the plant are known as hashish, which can be smoked or eaten. The fiber of the cannabis plant is cultivated as industrial hemp which is used in textile manufacturing. The compounds which have a structure similar to THC are known as cannabinoids.
Mainly cannabis has two categories – indica, and sativa, cannabis indica – it effects in whole body such as it gives deep relaxation and also reduces the insomnia .cannabis sativa – the consumption of the sativa leads high, and helps to reduce anxiety or stress by giving some energizing effects.
Advantages of cannabis
Certain benefits of marijuana cannot be misled:
- Medicinal purpose – according to various studies there are numerous benefits of cannabis such as it prevents the spread of cancer in various parts of the body. It also treats glaucoma, reduces anxiety and boosts metabolism and is well known to regenerate innovation in our brain. Smoking cannabis also provides relief to the patients from serious diseases, but it also helps to avoid certain disease if it is consumed with proper caution. . Some of the benefits of consuming cannabis include medicinal breakthroughs.
- Less Harmful Than Alcohol – when compared with alcohol, marijuana is less harmful, as it does not drive the person aggressive, reckless or uncontrollable like alcohol. Addiction of cannabis is uncommon, contrary to common stereotypes, but only few people are seen as an addicted to the same. 
Disadvantage of cannabis
Cannabis once consumed has physiological and psychoactive effects. Apart from this, alteration in vision is caused and, most importantly fluctuations in mood, some common symptoms are increased heart rate, increased appetite, lowered blood pressure, weakness and lack of coordination between mind and body. These were some short term effects of consuming cannabis. Long term effects are the use of chronic cannabis documents comparatively few adverse clinical health effects.
- Unsteadiness and Migraines – people experience short term unsteadiness and sometimes chronic headache are consequences of using cannabis. Consumption of this drug can also be deadly because many people opt to drive under the influence of cannabis. Sometimes a person loses his control and can result in a major accident
- Respiratory issues – the active element in cannabis is a carcinogen that damages the respiratory system. When a person smokes a pot he exposes his lungs to huge quantity of smoke that is rich in carcinogens. Frequent use of this drug can lead to cancer and various life endangering situations while casual users may experience cough and other breathing issue.
- Creating dependency – While many people consider this drug as harmless that is only when it is consume casually , but medical evidences represents that frequent use of marijuana will lead the individual into a state where became a drug addict . People who seek to quit use of cannabis at a later stage will experience immigrate symptoms of withdrawal including eating disorders, emotional outbursts, anxiety and depression.
LEGALIZATION OF BHANG
Bhang is not covered by the definition of cannabis (hemp) as described in section 2(3) of the ndps act, 1985. The act only prohibits the usage of certain sections and cannabis plant preparations, including hash resin produced from the plant, or its buds. The act provides for the usage of leaves of the plant, is the precise component that is used while making of bhang.
Since the social and cultural utilization of the cannabis (or marijuana, or weed, or hemp) in India, that is why the Indian delegation opposed British India to criminalization of the cannabis under the single convention of narcotics drugs, 1961. And after that in the definition of cannabis it was included that “flowering or fruiting tops (excluding seeds and leaves when not accompanied by tops) from which resin is not extracted”. This permitted India to continue the consumption of bhang in a large scale and after exemption period of 25 years same definition of cannabis was adopted and the ndps act was passed by India.
States have the power to make laws on cannabis and give permission to use seeds and leaves which is popularly used to make bhang in India. For example the states named UP and Rajasthan has the government licensed shop to sell the bhang in their state. Thandai, a milkshake made with bhang is especially popular in UP. On the festival of Holi and use of bhang is also well known in festivals such as Mahashivratri. Among Sikh Nihangs, bhang is popular, especially during hula Mohalla. According to Sufis of India the spirit of Khidr was placed within the plant of cannabis and they consume bhang. Hence under the ndps act the bhang is legal because of definition of cannabis according to this act., however legality of bhang varies from state to state as per there state laws . In 2018, under state laws the commercial cultivation of hemp is permitted in Uttarakhand. The cannabis sativa plant is especially cultivated for the commercial and industrial use of for its bio-products.
Under section 3 of the “Assam ganja and bhang prohibition act, 1958” this act forbids the retail, purchase, possession and eat up ganja or bhang in Assam.
In the state of Maharashtra, without a license manufacturing ,possession , consumption of bhang or any bhang containing substance are prohibited under section 66(1) (b) of “ the Bombay prohibition act ,1949”
In the case of, Arjun Singh v. State of Haryana, -the Chandigarh high court affirmed that, according to the ndps act, bhang is not “cannabis (hemp)” under the statute, but is a “cannabis plant.” Thus, it is not illegal to use or consume leaves of the cannabis plant under the rule.
“THE GREAT LEGALIZATION MOVEMENT
The Great Legalization Movement (GLM) is a non – profit research organization whose main objective is to legalize the use of the cannabis (or marijuana) for industrial and medicinal purpose in India.
- For the protection of the environment of India and of all its bionomics.
- To bring back an ancient medicinal purpose and to invent the current healthcare approach.
- To re-establish a national biological product modification and to redevelop the toxic industrial framework.
- To eliminate human suffering , poverty ,unemployment and diseases,
- To entitle and develop a new agricultural setup for farmers.
- To safeguard fundamental rights of peoples and prospect their responsiveness means of natural plants.
- To create ecological and biological technologies for a safer future.
As other countries legalize the recreational use of cannabis similarly there has been a booming clamorous by non-governmental organization in India .for the same. The government nonprofit organization filed the petition in Delhi high court on 7 November .2019 to legalize the recreational use of cannabis in India. The great legalization movement trust wants to remove the cannabis from the ndps act. The organization believes that the legalization of cannabis can help to fight from stress, improvise the concentration power of human, resolve medicinal issues and provide sustainable agricultural income, among other.
BENEFITS OF LEGALIZATION OF CANNABIS IN INDIA
If country like India legalizes the cannabis then our government of India can earn a lot of revenue from cannabis by imposing taxes on sale duties on the marketing of cannabis.
In India there are a lot people who consume cannabis for recreational purpose and most of them are youngsters and which is hard to stop. There are mafia’s who were doing black marketing of cannabis and they have a huge business of it and they generate a lot of money from it. These mafias were surviving in India because there are a lot of people who wishfully buy the cannabis and also ready to pay the money whatever are demanded by the mafias. If cannabis is legalize in India then the Indian government can imposes taxes on sales of it and if India legalize the cannabis then there would be cannabis producing industries and the workmen would be needed in industry and so many unemployed peoples gets jobs , ultimately it would enlarge the employment . The revenue generated by legalizing the cannabis can be used for the education for those children whose parents are not capable to give education because of the bad financial condition. .
REDUCTION IN CRIME RATES
As we know that day by day crime rate is increasing in India and by legalizing the cannabis the crime rate of illegal trade will decreased in India and when the cannabis is legalize there would be no black marketing, no illegal trade , no illegal production and distribution.
This would be helpful because then there will be strict rules and regulations for the possession, production or trade of cannabis and it will be managed by the governments, merchants and retailers and not by the drug peddlers. Cannabis is easily available in India before the narcotic drug and psychotropic substance act, 1985 and also after the enactment of this act. As there exists a huge supply chain of black market for cannabis from cultivation to harvesting to transportation and this distribution to the final consumer .by this illegal activity drug peddlers are making a lot of money. And if we will not legalize it, we would simply end up giving money in the wrong hands rather than this money can be used by government for public welfare.
It is time to end war on drugs and social ailments that comes with it: crimes, health issues, homelessness and premature death.
MEDICINAL USE OF CANNABIS
According to various studies there are numerous medicinal benefits of cannabis such as it prevents the spread of cancer in various parts of the body. It also treats glaucoma, reduces anxiety and boosts metabolism and is well known to regenerate innovation in our brain. Smoking cannabis also provides relief to the patients from serious diseases, but it also helps to avoid certain disease if it is consumed with proper caution. . Some of the benefits of consuming cannabis include medicinal breakthroughs.
Whereas, the use of cannabis is still considered as illegal in India .and medicinal use of cannabis is still illegal in various countries but there are several medicinal advantages of medical cannabis .this is the right time for India to think about the legalizing the cannabis for medicinal purpose and can help those patients who really wants therapy by the treatment of cannabis.
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, 1985, under section 2(3) of the NDPS act, defines the meaning of the cannabis
(a) Charas: it is the separated adhesive, which can either be in unrefined or authentic form which is procured from the cannabis plant. This also comprises the strenuous composition and adhesive known as hashish lubricant or fluid hash.
(b) Ganja: it is the flower or fruit peak part of the cannabis plant (which does not includes the seeds and leaves which is not go along with the tops)
(c) Any mixture with or without any impartial substance, and of the above forms of cannabis or any liquid refreshment prepared there from.
Section 2(4) of the ndps act defines that – cannabis plant means any plant of the genus cannabis;
The NDPS act forbids the selling & making of cannabis resin and flowers. However, it does not forbid the usage of the seeds and leaves of the cannabis plant.
Under section 10 of the NDPS act permits the states to allow and to control the cultivation of any cannabis plant, production, manufacture, possession, transport, import and export inter-state, sale, consumption or use of cannabis (excluding Charas).
Under section 14 of the NDPS act, this section had a special provision for cannabis, where the government may permit the cultivation of a cannabis plant “for industrial purposes only of obtaining fiber or seed or for horticultural purposes.”
PUNISHMENT FOR CANNABIS POSSESSION
According to ndps act, if any person is caught in possession of drugs (cannabis) which are banned will constitute an offence. The amount of sentence will relay upon the number of drugs which are in trafficking if a drug addict or a person who is caught with drugs willingly wants to undergo rehabilitation therapy the person will not be subjected to charges.
The punishment for offence related not only to consumption but also related to farming purchasing transporting interstate importing ,inter states exporting except for medicinal or scientific purpose , is given under section 20 of the narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances act 1985. The punishment for the above said is as follows-
For Small Quantity, Rigorous confinement for a term, that may extend to six months or a fine that may extend to Rupees.10, 000 or both.
For Larger Than Small Quantity But Lesser Than Commercial Quantity– rigorous confinement may extends to ten years with a fine that may extends to Rupees, 100000 ,
For Commercial Quantity, rigorous confinement will not be less than 10 years, but may extend to 20 years and a fine of not less than rs100000. (Which can be extended to 200000),
As for juveniles; under the ndps act juveniles below 18 years cannot be prosecuted, there is a separate law for juveniles under section 18 of the juvenile justice act 
Under section 29 punishments for abetment and criminal conspiracy –
(1) whoever abets, or is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable under this chapter, shall, whether such offence be or be not committed in consequence of such abetment or in pursuance of such criminal conspiracy, and notwithstanding anything contained in section 116 of the Indian penal code (45 of 1860), be punishable with the punishment provided for the offence.
(2) A person abets, or is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit, an offence, within the meaning of this section, which, in India abets or is a party to the criminal conspiracy to the commission of any act in a place without and beyond India which; (a) Would constitute an offence if committed within India; or, (b) Under the laws of such place, is an offence relating to narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances having all the legal conditions required to constitute it such an offence the same as or analogous to the legal conditions required to constitute it an offence punishable under this chapter, if committed within India.
The above mention section states that if any person abets the other person to do an act which is in contravention to law. For example if anybody attempts to abet the person for sale of cannabis or enter into a conspiracy with relation to cannabis would be punishable under the NDPS act 1985.
In the case of Hira Singh v. union of india, a three judges bench of the supreme court held that, “in case of seizure of a drug or narcotic mixture with one or more neutral substances, the weight of the neutral material must be taken into consideration with the weight of offending drug”, while determining that it is in “small quantity” or in “commercial quantity” and overruled the judgment of the two judges bench in E. Michael Raj v. Intelligence officer, Narcotic Control bureau., here the division bench considered that the quantity of neutral substances should not be taken into account when determine the mixture fell into small or commercial quantities . It took only the actual weight of the drug or substance as relevant. 
In the year 2015, Tathagata Satpathy Lok Sabha mp from odisha commented against the criminalization of marijuana. He has admitted in a social media that he had smoked cannabis or hashish in his young age with his friends and he is neither regret it nor have any contrition about it . And he does not support the ban on marijuana. According to him cannabis should be legalize in India because it would be helpful for those people who were addicted to alcohol which is more harmful than marijuana.
In the year 2017, Maneka Gandhi, the union women and child development minister, she suggested that cannabis should be legalized in India for medicinal purpose because it is a psychoactive drug. As other countries like us, the legalization will help in restrain the drug abuse. She also quoted that legalization of cannabis would in the treatment of cancer patients. She suggested this at a meeting of group of ministers who had met to examine the national drug demand reduction policy. She added example of countries like America, Canada and Australia.
In the year 2019, politics on the disruption of traditional drugs has become a trend again as Dharamvira Gandhi , the Patiala mp , has taken to his hells , adding that the regulated use of traditional drugs like opium and cannabis be approved legally. According to him, such a move could help people in Punjab and other parts of the country avoid addicts liked heroin, methamphetamine (ice), opium-based cough syrup and habit forming capsules and pills.
For Gandhi, a former medical officer in Punjab health department and in medicine, exemption in laws on opium and cannabis is the best answer to Punjab’s drug menace. This is not the only issue raised by Gandhi, who, in his first term, proposed an amendment to the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances (ndps) act to reduce the use and possession of two banned substances. His personal bill has been cleared by the legislative branch of parliament, but it has not yet been introduced in the lower house.
Gandhi during his tenure is building his election campaign for the development work done by him in Patiala and the Punjab rights over river water. Gandhi contested and won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections on an AAP ticket, but was later suspended by the party. In the area and neighborhoods of Patiala, he has raised the issue of undermining opium and marijuana. 
In year 2020, the UN commission has voted to remove the cannabis resin from the list of hazardous drug and India was the 27 country who voted in the favor of the legalizing the cannabis. And by doing so the Indian government signaled in favor of to legalize the recreational or medicinal purpose of cannabis, , now it should be followed through with the amendment in the NDPS ACT that considers the spirit of its vote of the un commission on narcotics drugs . The justification for legalization of cannabis goes far beyond the legitimacy of India’s international obligations. Aesthetically, cannabis has been a part of India’s religious and social fabric, which is used for medicinal and recreational purposes. A large number of people voluntarily accepted to use of cannabis products in government surveys should indicate both the prevalence and acceptability of the substance criminalizing the use of such a wide material as in whose mental and physical health has been proved to be far less injurious than legal stimulants such as alcohol and tobacco- only an overworked serves the burden to criminal justice system and in many cases gives undue power to police agencies such as narcotics control board.
CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE EFFECTS OF CANNABIS
The effects of cannabis drugs is too high, it badly affects whole body and mind of the consumer. Its consumption makes the consumer’s body used to it and it gives relief and relaxation to mind and body to those consumers who were addicted for it.
There are certain kinds of effects which affect the human body badly:
- Short Term Effects – the short term effects means the effects which are for very short period of time. Or which we only feel for short duration of time. The following are the short term effects of consuming cannabis :- 
- Hallucination means when a person feels , hear, taste, sees, or smells thing which does not exists or which are imaginary , it happens when you have taken some kind of drugs .
- Increased heart rate means when a person feels stress or anxiety the heat beat of the person will be increased.
- Short-term memory issue is a problem faced when you are taking high dose medicines or drugs for a period of time for example- forgets the small amount of information for a particular period of time.
- Coordination problems means problems facing by people to coordinate their mind and body at the same time, or facing problems in talking clearly, or listen and framed it wrong.
- Long Term Effects – the long term effects are those effects which stay in the person’s body for a longer period of time and this mostly impossible to deal with it or stop it when you want to. Here, the following long term effect :-
- Addiction- the word addiction means addicted or habitual of something which you cannot control or stop using / consuming.
- Reduced it- the consumption of drug directly affect the sense organ of brain and it reduces the power nervous system, it makes brain incapable to send and receive the information of what is happening around the body.
- Loss of memory – it is one of the part of the long term effects which means consumption of drugs makes you in-capacious to remember the events for a certain period of time .
- Impaired thinking – it is also called as cognitive disorder a type of mental health , which affects brain and because of the disorder , created in brain confusion , identity confusion, makes poor coordination of brain and body , the person loss his memory for short term as well as for long term . 
- Positive Effects
- Euphoria- it is a state of mind in which a person gets extreme level of happiness, comfort, or great pleasure and it is a side – effect after consuming large amount of drugs.
- Relaxation or decreased anxiety –the consumption of the drugs provide relaxation and reduced your nervousness, anxiety, or stress of your body
- Enhanced sensory experiences- consumption of the drugs improves your sensory experience (like taste, touch or, smell) for a certain period of time.
- Talkativeness is one of the effects of drugs consuming, the people start talk to themselves and they freely share their feelings to themselves.
- Negative Effects
- Altered senses – it is a state of consciousness in any state in which persons view point or concepts are different than normal
- Mood alterations- it means the sudden change in mood or mood swings (roller coaster of feelings), which shows the speedily and intensely fluctuation in emotions and feelings of a person like change in emotion of happiness to anger, irritation and sometimes depression.
- Tooth discoloration – it a side effect of consumption of drugs which changes color of your teeth into gray/ black.
‘Some drugs like morphine, cocaine, LSD, and alcohol are much more harmful than marijuana. Research says that the consumption of other drugs leads the consumer to physical aggression and losing control over their sense while cannabis leads to comfort and relaxation of senses.
Indian government can likely in future re-legalize cannabis as our country is taking positive steps towards the promotion of legalizing cannabis to expand the medicinal, commercial and industrial purpose.
Legalization of cannabis in India would substantially lead to increase the revenue of the government as taxing weed would contribute huge amount of money to the government and would also help in increase in growth of GDP. It is also the source of income for many localites in areas like himachal Pradesh and Tamil nadu, where the cannabis plant is cultivated. It is scientifically proven that cannabis is comparatively less harmful than alcohol . Dope heads, unlike alcoholics, don’t engage in abusive fights or reckless behavior instead under the influence of cannabis they tend to be more calm and friendly.
But there are few pointers upon which the government should look on before legalizing the cannabis in India. A rule should be made according to which a person above 25 years of age shall only possess cannabis for recreational purpose. A limit should be set for a person beyond which if he possess such drug should be punished strictly.
In the contemporary time there is existence of black market and drug mafia and there are earning a lot of money by selling this drug because people are willing to buy it at any cost and if cannabis gets legalized in India the government would earn money instead of mafia and this money can be used for development of our country. It will also reduce the rate of unemployment of our country. As till now we have studied through various reasons for which use of cannabis should be made legal .as like many states of us, India should also do the same.
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