Puff Puff Pass: Should We Legalise Marijuana In India?

A recent Facebook post by the Bengaluru City Police which read, “If there was someone selling drugs, weed know. Caught these two with 6.68Kgs of Ganja” has been all the rage in social media circles. While the witty message was appreciated by many, the perpetual debate on legalisation of cannabis/marijuana in the country was sparked yet again. 

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 was last amended in the year 2014. According to the law, cannabis (hemp) including charas (the crude or purified resin), ganja (flowering or fruiting tops) or any mixture resulting from the two is considered as illegal. Although, if one consumes only the seeds and leaves of the same plant then it is absolutely lawful (that’s why bhang is legal).  

This 2014 Amendment allowed courts to use their discretion for a 30-year imprisonment term for repeated offenders. It also eliminated the compulsion of a mandatory death...

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