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The next step would be to introduce a bill on the matter. But in late December, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant reportedly said the state government is not moving forward with allowing cannabis cultivation.
Citing a proposal received from the Indian Institute of Integrated Medicine, Sawant said the government was examining it, but that, at present, it “isn’t interested to go ahead with this proposal,” according to Republic World.
That didn’t stop the GPYC from posting a message on Facebook this week. A GPYC committee has submitted “a memorandum regarding a strong demand to deter state governments move to bring a ‘Draconian Bill’ on cultivation of Cannabis in the state of Goa,” notes the post.
The message follows Mardolkar’s comments earlier this week to reporters after the memo was submitted. If the proposal was greenlit, he argued “the state of the government’s administrative apparatus” would make it very difficult to regulate marijuana cultivation sites, Daiji World reports.
Mardolkar is hardly the only person to have roundly criticized the proposal to allow for medicinal cannabis cultivation.
Aam Aadmi Party convenor Rahul Mhambre argued that moving forward with such a proposal would render Goan youth into either drug addicts or drug peddlers, while transforming the state into a “drug den.”
According to the Navhind Times, Mhambre told reporters that if youths were encouraged to cultivate cannabis, “Goan youths will end up either becoming drug addicts or drug peddlers.”
Recently, India voted in favour of the move by the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) to drop cannabis from the “most strict” drug control list.
“With a vote of 27 in favour, 25 against, and one abstention, the CND has opened the door to recognizing the medicinal and therapeutic potential of the drug, although its use for non-medical and non-scientific purposes will continue to remain illegal,” noted a U.N. statement last month.
The cannabis drink, bhang, is easily accessible in several states in India despite marijuana still being illegal throughout the country.