Maneka Gandhi has taken the lead in supporting legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. Speaking at the second meeting of a group of ministers (GOM), chaired by Rajnath Singh, the Women and Child Development minister gave the suggestion with the draft Cabinet note for the National Drug Demand Reduction Policy.
The GoM examined the draft and approved it with a few changes that were made during the meeting.
She said at the meeting, “In 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”, she added, TOI reported.
She made her stand on the drug clear by saying, “Marijuana should be legalised for medical purposes, especially as it serves a purpose in cancer (treatment).”
She also emphasized the need to regulate pharmaceutical drugs like codeine cough syrups and inhalants, among others which are being bought for various harmful purposes. The draft that the WCD ministry forwarded on regulation focuses on the problem of drug and substance abuse across India.
The WCD minister referred to the national survey on drug abuse, conducted by the ministry of social justice in collaboration with AIIMS, and suggested that de-addiction centres can be built around railway station to help children living in and around the stations.
However, social justice and empowerment secretary G Latha Krishna Rao disagreed with Gandhi’s view on marijuana and said that it is inappropriate to legalise the drug in India because of the low literacy levels. But it can be sought in future.
Picture credit- DNA