Over the past decade, the demands for the legalisation of cannabis have been getting greater traction with many organisations coming in support owing to its medicinal properties. Adding to that, a recent study by Journal of Natural Products stated that cannabis compounds can inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 replication in human lung cells. In this light, the Great Legalisation Movement India Trust sent an application to the Delhi High Court explaining its medicinal properties.
“The petition, which is listed for further hearing in March, has challenged provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act which prohibit the use of cannabis and has contended that the drug has medicinal and industrial benefits” reported Economic Times.
They further added, “The petitioner has sought to declare as unconstitutional the provisions in the NDPS Act and Rules which prohibit and criminalise the use of cannabis and prescribe unreasonable restrictions with respect to activities related to it.”
“The petitioner trust, registered in Karnataka and in the forefront of the movement to decriminalise the use of cannabis, has claimed there is not a single document which shows that it was lethal to humans and emphasises the use of cannabis was legal in several other countries.”
The bench headed by Justice Rajiv Shakhder refused to allow the early hearing application and said that “Looking at the board position, the application can’t be entertained at this junction. We are trying to do whatever is possible.”
In an affidavit filed by the Centre last year, they had urged courts to dismiss the petitions with cost and claimed that they had shown a balanced approach when it came to cannabis they further stated that they had empowered state governments to take decisions regarding its “...permit, control and regulate the cultivation of any cannabis plant, production, manufacture, possession, transport, import inter-state, export inter-state, sale, purchase, consumption or use of cannabis (excluding charas) for medical, scientific and industrial purposes”, as stated under the NDPS Act.
In the affidavit filed by Director, Narcotics Control, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, it stated “There is no complete ban on cannabis under NDPS Act but can be used for medical, scientific, industrial, horticultural purposes by taking requisite permissions from respective State Governments.”
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