Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi on July 30 said that medical marijuana should be legalised in India just as in some other developed countries including the United States to keep a check on drug abuse. Maneka Gandhi made the recommendation while addressing a meeting with a group of ministers (GOM) which was reportedly examining the draft cabinet note National Drug Demand Reduction Policy.
“Some of the developed countries like the US, marijuana has been legalised which ultimately results in less drug abuse. The possibility of the same may be explored in India,” Maneka Gandhi said.
Asserting that Marijuana also has medical benefits Maneka Gandhi affirmed that Marijuana could be legalised in the country considering that it helps in killing Cancer cells.”Marijuana should be legalised for medical purposes, especially as it serves a purpose in cancer,” Maneka Gandhi stated in the meeting.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh was also present at the meeting. During the meeting, Maneka Gandhi said that kids residing in and around the railways should also be covered under the national survey on drug abuse that was held by the Ministry of Social Justice in collaboration with AIIMS. The survey initially covered students, transgenders and sex workers.
She further recommended setting up de addiction centres near the railway stations. While Maneka Gandhi suggested legalising medical marijuana, Social Justice and Empowerment Secretary G Latha Krishna Rao said it could be inappropriate to legalise such drugs. “It may not be appropriate to legalise such drugs,” he said.
It was also noted that the drugs were readily available for people outside colleges and schools and that a strict plan was necessary to keep a check and raise awareness against drug abuse.